What is the most important thing that you want families in your program to know? Your answer indicates how the staff and program interact with and support families during their time in Head Start. Finding the most effective and comfortable way to build relationships with families and to partner with them for success is important in a program’s planning process. Think about these suggestions to create an “EEE”asy course of action for your group!
Empathize: Finding the right approach for effective work with families starts with an ability to extend empathy… to understand where they are and what their strengths and needs might be. Listen carefully and choose the kindest way to provide information. Partner with families to reach a goal. Both are examples of dealing empathetically with families.
Encourage: To encourage means to “walk along side of” and that is exactly how we want to approach our work with families. Take the time to extend assurance, to work together to create solutions and to offer support in a patient and helpful way that will lead to meaningful connections.
Empower: Creating capacity is a key component to empowering families and setting them up for success after their time in Head Start. Recognize the importance of their role as their child’s first teacher. Build partnerships as they enter the educational process. And assist as families grow in their ability to advocate for their children. These actions will produce results which empower Head Start families toward success.
Each of these areas is correlated to the Parent/Family/Community Engagement Framework. Essential Elements offers training to build your Family Service Workers’ capacity and to create a strong and practical plan for an effective parent engagement strategy based on positive relationships. Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule this training for your staff.