Getting Started: Family Engagement and Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships

The Office of Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework is a road map for progress. It is a research-based approach to program change designed to help Head Start and Early Head Start programs achieve outcomes that lead to positive and enduring change for children and families. 

Attitudes and Practices Summary

Explore the strengths-based attitudes and relationship-based practices that can help you develop and sustain Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships with families. You can use these strategies to strengthen your partnerships and help build the basis for effective family engagement. Meaningful partnerships and sustained family engagement lead to better outcomes for children and families.

Reflective Supervision

Just as Head Start and Early Head Start staff strive to engage parents and families in healthy, trusting, and respectful relationships, it is important that staff have the same kind of relationships with colleagues and supervisors. Supervision is not only about staff accountability. It also involves the commitment to nurture and guide staff so that they have the tools to engage children and families successfully.

Reflective Strategies: Sustaining Effective Practice

One key to building relationships is taking the time to reflect on our work with families. When we look at what’s working and what’s not, we can make changes that strengthen our relationships with families. Individual and shared reflective practice helps us work more effectively with families and contribute to better outcomes for children and families.

Reflective Practice

Taking the time to reflect—to stop and think about what has happened, what is happening, and what should happen next—is essential to creating and maintaining Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships. In this section, we will explore reflective practice strategies to support our work to build relationships with families.

Self-Reflection

Reflection is an important part of our own continuous improvement process to understand why and how we make the choices we do. Taking the time to look at yourself and your work gives you the opportunity to acknowledge strengths and challenges, and to improve your skills.

Reflective Strategies Summary

Explore strategies you can use in individual reflective practice and reflective supervision. Taking the time to reflect—to stop and think about what has happened, what is happening, and what should happen next—is essential to creating and maintaining strong relationships with families and peers. Reflective supervision is an opportunity to provide structured support for staff who want to build skills and enhance their work with families.

Family Engagement

Family engagement is a collaborative and strengths-based process through which early childhood professionals, families, and children build positive and goal-oriented relationships.

Parent-Child Relationships Infographic

Explore this research-based infographic to learn how and why the parent-child relationship is important. Review strategies program supervisors and staff can use the infographic to promote these relationships.