Step 2: Use the PFCE Assessment Tool
The PFCE Assessment Tool is designed to help you gather and analyze the information to assess the level of your program’s current PFCE practices. The goal is to strengthen your program by strengthening the connections between the elements that support PFCE. To that end, we encourage you to assess your program’s PFCE practices across all the elements.
Yet, we know many programs may find that isn’t doable and decide to begin by focusing on one or two elements. For example, you might choose one element where you know your program shines to see how you can do even better, and one that you know needs much more progress. Or you might choose two or three different elements to focus on each year as part of your strategic planning process.
As you move forward, no matter how many
elements you choose to explore, continue to look for connections. Over time this can help you to link together parts of your program that support and enhance PFCE.
To assess your program’s current stage of parent, family, and community engagement:
- Choose an element(s) to focus on. Go through its indicators and markers to define your focus more clearly. Determine what sources of information will help you document your current level of performance or quality. Feel free to create your own markers to add to the ones offered here. Be sure to share them with us so that we can share them with other programs.
- Review and analyze documentation from your program reporting systems, community needs assessment, files on children and families, and other management systems that pertain to the indicators and markers you want to examine.
Ask Partners for Input
- To assure an accurate, well-rounded picture, ask for input from leaders, staff, current families, parents who were engaged
with your program in the past, as well as community partners. This can be done in a number of ways; for example, through focus groups, open forums, short surveys, or individual interviews.
Analyze the Data
- Engage your PFCE Assessment Team in reviewing the data you have collected. Use it with them to guide discussion of your program’s current status on the indicators you want to learn more about. Encourage team members to examine whether a quality practice is widely and consistently observed in all parts of your program or implemented only in some instances or settings. This will help you see how far along you are in integrating high quality PFCE practices across your program. Document the main findings of your PFCE Assessment Team. You will use this data to create your PFCE Program Action Plan, as outlined on page 72.
- Determine the level that best describes your program’s status for each indicator you are examining.
- Engage the PFCE Assessment Team in reviewing patterns of
strengths and areas for improvement. Encourage team members to also consider possible links between the different indicators and elements. They may discover that there are patterns of strength or areas needing improvement across several indicators that shed light on your overall program self-assessment.
- Develop a strategy and materials to share the PFCE Assessment results and your subsequent Program Improvement Plan with staff, families, and community partners. These materials can also be used as part of your strategy to recruit others to join efforts to enhance your PFCE practices. For example, your PFCE Self- Assessment Team members might present findings at meetings of the governing board, Policy Council, management teams, staff, parents and community partners. Handouts and/or newsletter articles might include examples of what is working well and offer practical, hands-on suggestions of how people can contribute to enhance the program’s PFCE efforts and the well-being of children
Begin Your Assessment