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.

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.


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: 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.

Relationship-Based Practices

When you engage with a family, you help strengthen the partnership with that family. There are six Relationships-based Practices which can help promote family engagement. These practices are intended to guide what we say and do with families to support open communication and promote better understanding. Reflecting on how we apply Relationship-based Practices can improve our efforts to strengthen our relationships with families.

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.