Home Visitor's Online Handbook

Relationships with Parents

Home visitor with a motherOne of the unique strengths of the Head Start program is the array of opportunities for parent engagement and decision-making. In fact, the partnerships you build with families are the foundation of Head Start success. Successful relationships with families are characterized by mutual respect, trust, acceptance, objectivity, flexibility, personalized attention, and cultural awareness.

Just as every family is unique, the relationship the home visitor develops with the family will be unique. Although the program has parameters for the frequency, duration, and some of the content of the visits and socializations, each relationship and set of services will evolve to match the individual interests, culture, strengths, and needs of each family. According to the  Relationship-Based Competencies to Support Family Engagement, the home visitor's initial work is to "engage in a mutually respectful goal-oriented partnership with families to promote parent-child relationships and family well-being."