Observing to Build Relationships with Families

a home visitor talks to a mom and her son on the floor around a tableIn addition to strengthening relationships with children, sharing observations with children's families strengthens the home-program connection. HSPPS 45 CFR §1302.34(b)(2)–(3) and (6) address communicating regularly with parents about their child's routines, activities, development, and progress, including through parent-teacher conferences. In home-based programs, home visitors plan home visits together with parents "using information from ongoing assessments that individualize learning experiences" (45 CFR §1302.35(b)(1)–(2)). As noted earlier, observation is a key part of ongoing child assessment.

Education staff help families feel valued and see themselves as leaders in their children's education when they:

  • Regularly share their observations of children with families
  • Ask families for their input and perspectives intentionally and regularly
  • Share observation techniques

Supporting families to become engaged, experienced observers of their own children also deepens the family-child bond and relationship.