Relationship-Based Practice

Explore these resources to assist in developing your program's partnerships and goal-directed relationships with families. Strong relationships help to support positive outcomes for children and families.

Relationship-Based Practice with Families

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The Family Partnership Process: Engaging and Goal-Setting with Families [PDF, 1MB]

Explore this guide to learn how strong partnerships can have a positive impact on the goals families set during the Family Partnership Process. The guide offers specific strategies to work with families on effective goal-setting. Also, find out how to gain adequate and meaningful information to complete a Family Partnership Plan.

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Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies for Staff and Supervisors Who Work with Families [PDF, 1.3MB]

Deepen your program's relationships with families using the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework. This resource outlines skills and strategies for staff and supervisors working with families in line with the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Available in Spanish (español) [PDF, 1.9MB]. Note: This resource is under review.

Consider using the Relationship-Based Competencies Self-Assessment Tools for Staff [PDF, 289KB] or for Supervisors [PDF, 311KB] to help build your competency and capacity.

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Father Engagement

Visit the Father Engagement page for resources to support program efforts and strengthen partnerships with fathers and other significant men in children's lives.

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Journeys of Hope and Courage: Using Storytelling Approaches to Partner with Families

Watch this series of documentary-style videos about the power of storytelling when working toward positive outcomes for families and children. Learn best practices and useful strategies for building genuine partnerships with families from a Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program.

Parent-Child Relationships

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Understanding Family Engagement Outcomes: Positive Parent-Child Relationships

Explore each of the Family Engagement Outcomes of the OHS PFCE Framework. Each resource in the series presents a summary of selected research, proven interventions, promising practices, and program strategies for early care and education.

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Best Practices in Family and Community Engagement: Video Series

Looking for ways to foster strong relationships with families? Explore this video series to learn about innovative approaches to engagement that lead to positive outcomes for children and families, including school readiness.

Welcoming Environments for Families

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Partnering with Parents Who Identify as LGBT

Explore this resource to learn more about engaging parents and guardians who identify as LGBT. What you learn can help you create a welcoming and inclusive environment, build staff professionalism, and engage all families in your program.

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A Checklist for Programs

Use this checklist to assess what your early childhood program is doing well to create a welcoming environment for all children and families. The checklist will also help you identify opportunities to enhance your program.

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Children's Books that Include Diverse Family Structures

Offer children an inclusive look at all kinds of families by adding some of these great children’s books to your program’s library.

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Resources about Diverse Family Structures

Expand your knowledge with the latest information and research about partnering with parents who identify as LGBT. Also, learn how to create inclusive early childhood settings.

Community Partnerships

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Effective Community Engagement Webinar—The Vision Ahead

Community engagement plays a key role in making progress toward family and child outcomes. Watch this webinar to learn how programs and community partners work together to support families.

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Partnerships for Change: Listening to the Voices of Families

Watch this video to see how one program effectively partners with families and local organizations to build a strong community. See how family well-being and children's healthy development is rooted in a respect for culture, values, and home language. Successful partnerships contribute to community wellness and better outcomes for families and children, including school readiness.

Courses and Learning Activities

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Building Partnerships: Guide to Developing Relationships with Families

Learn more about the role that positive goal-oriented relationships play in effective parent, family, and community engagement and school readiness. Find definitions, tools, and guides for reflective practice and supervision. Also available as a PDF [PDF, 418KB].

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Partnering with Families: Building Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships

This e-learning course explores ways to develop positive, goal-oriented relationships with families. Program staff also will learn how to use reflective practice to support relationships.

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PFCE Simulation Series: Boosting School Readiness through Effective Family Engagement

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 reviews the process of developing and implementing goals with families. Simulation 3 explores using strengths-based attitudes to partner with families during challenging times.

For more resources and tools, visit PFCE Resources A to Z and the Early Head Start National Resource Center.

Last Reviewed: February 2017

Last Updated: February 14, 2017