Success is achieving something that is desired.
Family members and program staff may have different definitions of success. When you understand what success means to a family, you can help them celebrate each time they meet their vision of success as they pursue their financial, education, and career goals. You may also be able to point out successes that families may have missed during stressful times.
Success is rarely accomplished by reaching only one end point, especially when a family is focused on economic mobility. These goals include smaller successes along the way. In positive, ongoing, goal-oriented relationships it is important to celebrate steps toward reaching the family’s goal.
Explore the scenarios below for real-world examples of how to track progress and celebrate successes.
Scenario 1: A family whose goal is saving up for a big purchase sets up automatic transfers from their direct deposit to their savings account.
Opportunity: While the family has not yet reached their long-term goal, staff can acknowledge the success of taking an important step toward that goal. Staff might:
- Encourage the family to formally “check-off” this objective as it relates to their goal in the Family Partnership Agreement.
- Call out the family’s achievement and the strengths they used to accomplish this part of the goal.
- Turn celebration into a physical action like a happy dance or a high five!
- Write the family a congratulations note or card.
Scenario 2: A family whose goal is to complete their AA degree has not been able to complete all of the coursework according to the schedule they set for themselves.
Opportunity: While the family may feel discouraged, staff can support the family in reframing the situation. Staff might acknowledge that the family has completed several courses and is on their way to reaching their goal. The staff can share a perspective that going back to school counts as a success and places the family one step closer to receiving that degree — and eventually getting a promotion and growing financially in the future. Hearing a different perspective from a trusted partner may allow the family to appreciate and celebrate the progress they have made and feel more confident and motivated as they continue toward their goal.
Learn More with These Resources
- Goal Setting with Families (learning module)
- Goal-setting to Make Progress Toward Outcomes (video)
- Goal-setting with Fathers (article)
- Partnering with Families to Pursue:
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Parent, Family and Community Engagement
Last Updated: September 7, 2023