Training as a family-service provider team models the kind of family-service provider collaboration that this session is about. For maximum effectiveness, both family members and service providers should be represented in the group of participants, as well as on the facilitation team.
It is important to present examples of the wide variety of ways families and service providers collaborate. It is also important to emphasize that each member of a family has a unique relationship with the infant or toddler with a disability. Be sure to consider fathers and extended family members, as well as mothers, as potential facilitators to represent the family voice.
Participants in this session should include family members, early care and education staff, and early intervention service providers. If a “voice” is under-represented or missing, then the facilitators need to represent that point of view in the discussions.
The lecturette at the start of the session requires two facilitators — one representing family members and one representing service providers — to share personal experiences that helped support the development of a collaborative relationship and as leaders in collaborative service delivery.
Understanding the reciprocal nature of family-service provider collaborative relationships is key to this session. It is important to communicate this clearly to the participants. One way to do this is through the lecturette. To prepare for the lecturette, see Part 1 of “Developing Family-Service Provider Collaboration and Leadership.”
Facilitators can provide specific examples from their own experiences of how collaborative relationships develop. Our ultimate goal is to support families to be informed decision makers for their child and family. Facilitators should plan together which stories to share to describe the development of collaborative relationships. There is a table in the script that the facilitation team can use to plan and present their most relevant stories. Collaborative training and advocacy by families and service providers as a team can create a more responsive system for young children and their families.
The Embrace Possibilities video is viewed in When Concerns Arise: Learning from Families’ Experiences and again in this fifth session.