Key definitions and principles are summarized here to help you as you prepare to bring the PFCE Framework to your program using this guide. These have always been important to HS/EHS and are even more important today as poverty spreads and resources shrink. With the input of programs, regional staff, and OHS leadership, and with a growing body of research on effective PFCE, some of the definitions are extended to align with the PFCE Framework.
What do we mean by family?
Family is an enduring relationship, whether biological or non-biological, chosen or circumstantial, connecting a child/youth and parent/caregiver through culture, tradition, shared experiences, emotional commitment, and mutual support.
What do we mean by family engagement?
Family engagement means building relationships with families that support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and ongoing learning and development of parents and children alike. It refers to the beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and activities of families that support their children’s positive development from early childhood through young adulthood. Family engagement happens in the home, early childhood program, school, and community. It is a shared responsibility with all those who support children’s learning.
PFCE is Systemic, Integrated, and Comprehensive. Definitions: What do we mean when we say PFCE is a systemic, integrated, and comprehensive approach? Systemic means that parent, family, and community engagement is anchored in leadership priorities, program management, continuous improvement systems, and staff development. Integrated refers to the fact that to be effective, PFCE activities are carried out throughout the entire organization. For example, directors, teachers, assistant teachers, family support staff, home visitors, and health and disabilities staff all play a role in engaging families and supporting school readiness. In a comprehensive approach, the full range of strengths, interests and needs of the adults and children in a family are considered and staff support families by connecting them with services and resources to achieve their goals.
What principles guide effective PFCE?
Effective engagement depends on our ability to form respectful, responsive relationships with parents, families, and community partners. How do we get to that point? We know from your experiences over the years that effective PFCE is: