Family practices refer to ongoing activities that address family needs. They promote the active participation of families in making decisions related to their child who is at risk for or has been diagnosed with disabilities. These practices also support families in achieving the goals they hold for their child and other family members. Learn more about recommended practices related to families from the Division for Early Childhood.
The resources below are organized based on their level of impact for learning and are only a sampling of the resources available on these practices.
Knowledge Awareness Level
Resources that fall into this category provide basic information and do not include activities that draw participants in to respond or reflect. They include archived webinars and newsletters.
Disabilities Services Newsletters
Each Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletter focuses on a different topic related to serving children with disabilities and their families. They include information about the topic, ideas to try out in the classroom, ways to involve and include families, and additional resources.
'Individualized Planning for Health' [Background Information] in Essential Principles for Care
Read a summary of Head Start's concept of individualized health planning. It offers information on how to best meet the needs of children with chronic conditions by following a systematic process.
Parenting a Child with Special Needs [PDF, 222KB]
Explore two articles that provide information for parents of a child with a disability. The articles offer tips, support, and resources to help family members deal with the issues they confront on a day-to-day basis. They also may be useful for professionals to help them understand the issues and emotions facing families.
Strengthening Partnerships to Support Babies with Special Needs
This video provides an overview of what families may experience when they learn their child has special needs. It explains how Early Head Start staff can support, empower, and partner with families who have children with special needs.
Knowledge Acquisition Level
Resources that fall into this category provide information and activities that draw participants in to respond or reflect.
A Thinking Guide to Inclusive Childcare
Find ideas and strategies to support staff in developing child care practices that consider the needs of children with and without disabilities. The guide also offers methods for promoting an inclusive experience for the families and children in staff care.
Inclusion Planning Checklist: Center-Based Early Care and Education Programs
This checklist is a tool for providing center-based services to infants, toddlers, or preschoolers with disabilities, and their families. The suggestions may be useful for creating responsive and inclusive environments. This checklist contains four sections: 1. Build Relationships; 2. Gather and Share Information and Resources; 3. Develop and Implement Plans; and 4. Review and Evaluate Services.
Making It on Our Own: Customizing an Individualized Health Plan [A Learning Activity]
This activity will help health managers, disability coordinators, and their staff individualize the process and forms used for Individual Health Plans (IHPs). A sample IHP form and a handout with information about the principles that guide the care of children with chronic conditions in Head Start are included.
Relationship-based Practices: Talking with Families about Developmental Concerns
Discussing concerns about children’s development with their families is essential, but it can be challenging. Explore how relationship-based practices set the foundation for strong partnerships with families. Discover the importance of valuing families’ observations and input to fully understand their child’s development. Practice talking to a family about developmental concerns in an interactive simulation exercise.
Last Updated: October 31, 2017