Family Economic Mobility Toolkit

Step 5: Explore Strategies

Strategies are the methods or action steps used to achieve the family’s goals.

After assessing and discussing skills, strengths, stressors, and available supports, families and program staff can use strategies to create action steps to achieve the family’s goals.

Strategies can be accessing new resources or building on existing strengths. Families and staff partner together to explore available resources and brainstorm potential solutions. This is also an opportunity to tap into and recognize a family’s strengths.

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Staff may initiate goal-setting conversations with questions like:

  • “Let’s work backwards. What steps do you need to take to get where you want to go?”
  • “Where have you succeeded in the past when taking these types of steps?”
  • “What might get in the way? What can we do now to help prevent that?”
  • “What have you seen others do that might work?”
  • “I’ve noticed you have built strong relationships with other Head Start parents. Who might be able to help you with next steps?”

As the family makes progress in achieving goals, families and staff members may make changes to the strategies and action steps they have identified together. This kind of flexibility ensures that the family and staff members stay focused on the family’s goals.

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Sample Scenarios

Explore the scenarios below for real-world examples of how to explore strategies.

Scenario 1: A parent wants to finish a college degree but has a busy schedule.

Opportunity: Staff and the family can discuss what action steps they might set to achieve the goal, and what barriers need to be navigated. While researching courses, the family discovers that the classes that they want to take are only offered in the morning. They need to find a way to keep their earlier day shift at work and take classes in the afternoon, on weekends, or online. Staff can support the family in researching online courses or sit together to call the college about options for alternative schedules.