What you do and say matters! Explore and practice everyday strategies to develop Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships with a family. These relationships are key to our work with children and families, including the journey toward school readiness. Simulation 1 allows you to practice building bonds with families, beginning with an intake visit. Simulation 2 explores the process of developing and implementing goals with families. Simulation 3 explores using strengths-based attitudes to partner with families during challenging times. Simulation 4 allows you to practice using collaborative strategies to partner with families during conversations about developmental concerns.
Engaging Families from the Start
A strong relationship between families and Head Start staff is essential to promoting healthy child development and positive learning outcomes. Strong relationships are rooted in trust and comfort, which you can build by being genuine, sincere, curious about them and their goals, and supporting them as they work toward those goals. Explore communication techniques you can use to build relationships with families. While these techniques are especially relevant to the first visit with a family, they can be applied to all interactions with families.
Goal Setting with Families
Opening initial conversations with a family with direct reference to goal-setting is not always the most effective strategy. Focus instead on first building trust and letting the family lead the conversation: once a positive relationship has been established, it becomes much easier to talk about goals. We realize that goal setting is not a quick or necessarily easy process, and it involves a lot more than just filling out an agreement. Explore these six relationship-based skills that may help you identify and set goals with families.
Starting with Strengths in Challenging Times
Learn about these five strategies to partner with families going through a challenging situation.
Relationship-based Practices: Talking with Families about Developmental Concerns
It can be harder when we think we’ve noticed an issue before a parent has. And it’s even more difficult when a parent doesn’t see what we’re seeing, or thinks about it in a very different way. But we also know how helpful intervening early can be when we have a concern. Explore these strategies for having important but challenging conversations with families. We’re going to look at raising a concern with a parent about their child’s development. In this simulation we’ll focus specifically on a child’s speech and language delay, but you can use these strategies no matter what the concern might be.
Transition to Kindergarten: Partnering with Families and Schools
Strengths-based attitudes and relationship-based practices are key when a program is preparing children and families to transition from Head Start to a receiving school. It is even more critical when preparing families whose child has been receiving special developmental services and has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Explore this simulation to practice applying strengths-based attitudes and relationship-based practices. Discover what is needed in relationship-building between a Head Start coordinator and a receiving school special education team leader.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Parent, Family and Community Engagement
Audience: Family Service Workers
Last Updated: May 9, 2023