• Somerset Community Action Program Somerset Community Action Program


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Mission Statement

To increase self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of the Somerset County community.


Somerset Community Action Program, Inc is a private non-profit that has provided service to the Central Jersey community for nearly 45 years. SCAP, Inc. offers a variety of community services that empower community residents in both Somerset and Middlesex County, New Jersey.

In the early 1960s, Attorney General Robert Kennedy conducted research for a social reform program that addressed the relationship between juvenile delinquency and poverty. Experts working with Kennedy found that early intervention, particularly intergenerational programs, could significantly affect the cognitive and socio-emotional development of low-income children. In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." Johnson, in his infamous speech at Ann Arbor, delivered on May 22, 1964 described his ultimate goal of a "Great Society"--"a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents." In conjunction with the "Great Society" initiative, Robert Kennedy, along with Sargent Shriver created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). Both Kennedy and Shriver worked with a panel of 14 experts to develop Head Start, a comprehensive child development program designed to meet the needs of children living below the poverty line. The sponsor and grantee for the Somerset County Head Start is the Somerset Community Action Program (SCAP). Since 1964, the Somerset County Head Start has used federal funds to serve low-income preschool children. Presently, SCAP is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Somerset County Head Start Program focuses on bringing together the family, community and staff (educational, social services, nutrition, health, administrative and parent-involvement) to contribute to a child's development. The family is recognized as the fundamental socialization vehicle for the child to achieve self-actualization.



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