Asking the right questions and listening carefully and respectfully are equally important in the process of learning about families’ personal stories. Being objective while a family shares their history helps them open their hearts and share their strengths, interests, and needs.
Journeys of Hope and Courage - Family Partnership Agreement and Family Strengths and Needs Assessment
Storytelling helps build strong relationships and supports effective family partnership agreements. Learning about families’ past experiences, strengths, and needs in an authentic way can help staff support meaningful progress for children, families, and communities.
Listen and empathize with families about the hardships they have endured. Watch this video to see how staff can connect with and support families, even when there may not be ready solutions to address their challenges.
The process of storytelling can help programs truly empower families. Hear from program staff about how storytelling has changed their Head Start/Early Head Start program for the better. Staff share how they hope this series of videos will help strengthen the work that providers do with migrant families.
Watch a Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program staff member interview families about their personal experiences as migrant workers in the U.S. These interactions help program staff understand the authentic needs and goals of families. In this way, storytelling can build partnerships based in trust, honor, and respect.
When families share their stories, staff can better understand and identify resources to help families achieve those goals. In some cases, storytelling can help families recognize their accomplishments, resources, skills, and abilities.
Watch this video to learn specific strategies to use to encourage families to open up about what is most important to them.
The process of storytelling can also strengthen relationships within families. Watch this video to hear one staff member discuss on how this process of sharing, listening, and reflecting has helped the families in this Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program—and the community—in surprising ways.
Discover the importance of storytelling when collaborating and developing relationships with children and families. Learn to communicate with families and understand their values, strengths, and goals for the future.
Learn how Head Start and Early Head Start staff can help families reflect on past experiences. Effective reflection can help staff members better understand families’ hopes and dreams. In turn, staff members can help families recognize their skills, abilities, and goals.