Family with child

Content Area:

PFCE Approach

This Content Area Covers:

  • How can I build on parent involvement to move toward family engagement?
  • How can I help make PFCE a part of all staff members' roles in my program?

Introduction

Explore systemic approaches to family engagement rooted in the Office of Head Start (OHS) PFCE Framework.

The Framework is a road map for progress toward the outcomes that lead to positive and enduring change for children and families. The PFCE Framework builds on parent involvement and provides guidance on undertaking family engagement to best support progress toward family and child outcomes, such as school readiness.

The OHS PFCE Framework is a research-based approach to program change. By carrying out PFCE goals, strategies, and activities throughout an organization, programs are much more likely to make family engagement progress that best supports child outcomes. As part of their work with families and others, all staff play a role in engaging families and making progress toward child school readiness. This includes directors, teachers, assistant teachers, family support staff, home visitors, health and disabilities staff, and others.

At-a-Glance

A
Learning Extension A
Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework
B
Learning Extension B
Building on Parent Involvement to Strengthen Family Engagement
C
Learning Extension C
Bringing Families Together: Building Community
D
Learning Extension D
Applying the PFCE Framework to Your Program
E
Learning Extension E
Family Engagement and Staff Roles
F
Learning Extension F
Fillable PFCE Framework Activity
G
Learning Extension G
Relationship-Based Competencies
Learning Extension A
Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework
  Estimated Time: 45-60 minutes

Explore the OHS PFCE Framework. Discover the differences and connections between parent involvement and family engagement. Find out why "Family Engagement is Everybody's Business" in Head Start, Early Head Start, and early care and education programs.

Guiding question: How can I build on parent involvement to move toward family engagement?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Review the document OHS PFCE Framework.
  • Preview the webcast.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Directions:

Part 1

  1. Provide your group members with copies of the OHS PFCE Framework.
  2. Explain the OHS PFCE Framework approach to engaging families, highlighting the following for the group:

    • The Framework identifies the seven elements needed to make progress toward family and child outcomes. Programs set goals, objectives, and strategies in the systems and services represented by these seven elements in the PFCE Framework.
    • The Framework includes the three Program Foundations (systems) and four Program Impact Areas (services). Programs integrate goals and strategies across these systems and services to support progress toward family and child outcomes.
    • The Framework recognizes seven Family Engagement Outcomes or family outcomes, as well as child outcomes. Programs can use these family outcomes as a guide for developing more specific goals and objectives. Note: We recommend beginning your discussion about the Framework with the child and family outcomes. We describe this step as "starting with the end in mind."
    • The arrow across the top of the PFCE Framework represents Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships. These relationships with families, staff, and community partners are necessary to make progress toward outcomes.
  3. Ask the group members to review the PFCE Framework with a partner.

  4. Lead a whole-group discussion using the following questions:

    • What did you notice about the PFCE Framework?
    • What stands out to you about the Framework?
    • What parts of the Framework do you see connecting to your work? Provide an example of a strategy you use to engage families and how it connects to the different elements of the Framework.

Part 2

  1. Introduce and watch the webcast Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework and School Readiness.

  2. After watching the webcast, refer to the questions and prompts below to facilitate a group discussion. (Option: Ask your group members to first discuss the questions in small groups of two to three people, then share the highlights of their discussions with the whole group.)

    • The OHS PFCE Framework highlights an integrated, system-wide approach to family engagement. What do you think it means to be integrated and system-wide?
    • In this webcast, Yvette Sanchez Fuentes states: "Engaging families is not just the job of family services workers. All staff have a role to play: teachers, front office state, kitchen, transportation staff, managers, and directors. Parent and family engagement must be intentional in program policy and practice and everyone has a role to play."
    • What role do you play in engaging families? Give an example.
    • What other staff do you see playing a role in engaging families? Give an example.
  3. Summarize the group discussion by reviewing the PFCE Framework and highlighting how all staff have a role to play in parent, family, and community engagement.

Reflective practice opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the boxes provided.
  • Continue to reflect on the roles you and other staff play in family engagement. Take time during staff meetings to reflect together. Consider how you can support each other in your work to engage families.
Learning Extension B
Building on Parent Involvement to Strengthen Family Engagement
  Estimated Time: 45-60 minutes

Consider the strategies you currently use to involve and engage families in their children's learning and healthy development. Explore how you might use or develop these practices and strengths to deepen family engagement in your programs.

Guiding Question: How can I build on parent involvement to move toward family engagement?

Resources you will need:

  • Document: OHS PFCE Framework
  • Flip-chart paper
  • Sticky notes
  • Document: Reflective Practice Tool

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Label one sheet of chart paper "Parent Involvement" and another sheet "Family Engagement."
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Directions:

Part 1

  1. Discuss the differences and the connections between parent involvement and family engagement with the whole group. How do you define involvement? How do you define engagement?

  2. During the discussion, make the following points for the group's consideration: - Parent Involvement is parent participation in program activities and decisions that support children and families. - Family Engagement is a two-way process, in which families are taking the lead and helping to create and determine opportunities. Family Engagement involves ongoing relationships between staff and families that support progress toward family and child outcomes. - Parent Involvement involves parents attending or participating in an event or meeting staff have planned (classroom volunteering, parent meeting, socialization, etc.). - Family Engagement happens when families and program staff come together and support families in taking the lead in their own and children's lives (e.g., parent-led parent meetings, family night events led by families, school readiness plans for children co-developed by parents and teachers).

  3. Discuss with the whole group: How do parent involvement and family engagement work together? - Parent involvement deepens into family engagement as relationships grow and trust is built. - By distinguishing between involvement and engagement (and how they work together) we can consider where we are in relationship with families and how we might deepen those relationships to make progress toward family outcomes.

  4. Recognize that the barriers to involvement may differ from the barriers to engagement. Share the following examples of barriers to involvement and to engagement:

  5. Ask your group members what they notice about these barriers. Lead a discussion about the differences and highlight the following: - Barriers to involvement focus on logistics, while barriers to engagement focus on relationship-based issues. - You can have involvement without engagement, but you can't have engagement without involvement.

Part 2

  1. Divide your group into smaller groups of three to five people. Prompt the small groups to select a notetaker and a reporter.

  2. Ask each small group to name the opportunities for engagement or involvement they offer to families. Have the notetaker write each opportunity on a sticky note.

  3. Next, ask the groups to review the opportunities they generated and, for each one, determine if it promotes parent involvement and/or family engagement. Be sure to encourage group members to consider how involvement and engagement may be part of the same opportunity. Ask them to place a check mark next to those opportunities that represent both involvement and engagement.

  4. Ask a member from each small group to post the sticky notes under the appropriate headings on the flip charts, either "Parent Involvement" or "Family Engagement."

  5. Ask each small group's reporter to share the parent involvement opportunities and the family engagement opportunities with the whole group. Encourage the reporter and small-group members to share how they determined whether an opportunity was an example of parent involvement, family engagement, or both.

  6. Lead a discussion about the two lists. Encourage group members to consider these questions:

    • What do you notice about the two lists? How are they similar? What is different?
    • What factors did you consider to determine whether the opportunity was involvement or engagement or both?
    • What might you do to strengthen the opportunities you offer to families?
  7. Summarize the themes from the discussion. Point out how we build on parent involvement to achieve engagement.

Reflective practice opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the boxes provided.
  • During staff meetings, share experiences and ideas about how to build on involvement activities to achieve engagement with families.
Download Individual Resources
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension C
Bringing Families Together: Building Community
  Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

See how one program brings families together and builds a strong sense of community. Discover ways parents can share experiences and engage in the community. Hear how one program strengthens family well-being to contribute to better outcomes for children.

Guiding question: How can I build on parent involvement to move toward family engagement?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Preview the video Bringing Families Together--Building Community.
  • Print copies of the OHS PFCE Framework as a handout for your group. Share with group members to read before the session, or include time for reading during the session.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Directions:

  1. Introduce the activity to the group by explaining that you will watch a video that shows how one Head Start program is bringing families together and building community.

  2. Watch the video. Ask your group members to consider the following while they watch:

    • What opportunities does the program provide to support family engagement?
    • What indicators do you see that families are engaged?
    • Do you see examples of how these opportunities support making progress toward PFCE Framework Family Outcomes? Remind the group to refer to the PFCE Framework document for information.
  3. Divide the whole group into smaller groups of two or three people, and ask them to share their observations with each other.

  4. Lead a whole-group discussion using the following discussion questions:

    • In what ways is this program creating opportunities for parents to share experiences and interact with each other?
    • What did you see or hear from the families and staff in the video that indicate that they are engaged?
    • How did this engagement contribute to making progress toward family outcomes in this program?
  5. Watch for opportunities to connect group members' observations and reflections with the message that family engagement is everybody's business. Be sure to highlight observations that illustrate how the program built upon parent involvement to strengthen parent engagement.

Reflective practice opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the boxes provided.
Download Individual Resources
Bringing Families Together - Building Community
1MB PDF
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension D
Applying the PFCE Framework to Your Program
  Estimated Time: 45-60 minutes

Review a list of sample strategies for program progress, organized by the Family Engagement Outcomes and OHS PFCE Framework elements. Assess how well your program is using each strategy in line with your program goals. Use the results of your assessment to strengthen what you are doing and to identify new strategies.

Guiding question: How can I build on parent involvement to move toward family engagement?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Review ISPP, Part I.
  • Print copies of the document and the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for the group.

Directions:

  1. Form small groups of three to five people. Have each small group identify a notetaker and a reporter.

  2. Choose a different Family Engagement Outcome for each of the small groups to assess. Alternatively, allow each small group to choose one outcome to discuss.

  3. Remind the small groups that the examples in ISPP, Part I are not a complete list of strategies that can be used to make progress toward Family Engagement Outcomes. The examples provided are intended to give programs some strategies to get started. Then programs can continue to add strategies that are aligned with specific goals of their own program goals to the list.

  4. Review the instructions for ISPP, Part I and ask each individual group member to complete the section for their specific Family Engagement Outcome.

  5. As you review each strategy, first indicate if you or your program are using it by checking "yes" or "no."
  6. If you select "yes," complete the assessment of the strategy by checking whether the strategy is "effective" or a strategy you "would like to improve."
  7. If a specific strategy needs improvement, think about what needs to happen to strengthen it.

  8. Once each member of the group has individually completed the assigned section, have them share their assessment in their small groups.

    • If small groups are composed of members from the same program, ask them to come to consensus on a group rating for each item. Complete the exercise by filling out "Strengths, Next Steps and Resources," which immediately follows the list of strategies in ISPP, Part I.
    • If small groups are composed of members from different programs, ask them to identify common themes in their ratings and discoveries they made while rating their programs.
  9. Have each small group report what they discovered and what they are still wondering to the whole group.

  10. Summarize the discussion by highlighting themes that emerged during the discussion. Encourage group members to continue to use ISPP, Part I to assess and support their programs' work to make progress toward Family Engagement Outcomes. Remind the group that the document ISPP, Part I is a great resource to help assess and support program planning for PFCE.

Reflective practice opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the boxes provided.
  • For areas that you noted you want to improve, use the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies to identify competencies to support your professional development.
  • Once you have chosen a competency, identify a knowledge area or skill that you would like to strengthen. How can you strengthen this? Who might support you to do this? How will you know you are successful? Consider using the Relationship-Based Competencies Self-Assessment Tool for Staff or Self-Assessment Tool for Supervisors to track your progress.
Download Individual Resources
Integrating Strategies for Program Progress (ISPP)
1MB PDF
Learning Extension E
Family Engagement and Staff Roles
  Estimated Time: 75–90 minutes

Learn how Head Start and Early Head Start program leadership is essential in achieving maximum success with parent and family engagement. Program leadership sets the vision for PFCE and supports staff to integrate PFCE throughout program systems and services. Explore ways that family services staff, home visitors, teaching staff, and others work together to make progress toward family and child outcomes.

Guiding question: How can I help make PFCE a part of all staff members' roles in my program?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Preview the webcasts.
  • Print out copies of the OHS PFCE Framework as a handout for your group. Share with the group members to read before the session, or include time for reading during the session.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Directions:

Part 1:

  1. Introduce the webcast Program Leadership and Family Engagement. Share with the group that they will hear how some programs are using leadership to support success with parent and family engagement. Explore how these program leaders support the staff to implement PFCE in their roles in Head Start.

  2. Ask group members to look for answers to the following questions while viewing the webcast:

    • What is the role of program leadership in family engagement?
    • What do programs need to have effective family engagement?
  3. Watch the webcast.

  4. After watching the presentation, ask the questions below and lead a whole-group discussion. (**Option: Ask your group members to first discuss the questions in small groups of two or three people, then share the highlights of their discussions with the whole group.)

    • In what ways are staff members encouraged to use in family engagement practices?
    • How can leadership support staff in implementing the PFCE Approach?
  5. Summarize the discussion by connecting the group's comments back to the ways that leadership can drive systemic and integrated efforts around parent and family engagement.

Part 2

  1. Introduce the webcast Children's Learning and Development and Family Engagement. Explain that this presentation focuses on how the service areas (or the Program Impact Areas of the PFCE Framework) can work together to make progress toward positive outcomes for families.

  2. Ask group members to look for answers to the following question as they watch the webcast:

    • How can family service staff and early education staff work together to make progress toward Family Engagement Outcomes?
  3. Watch the webcast.

  4. After watching the webcast, ask the questions below and lead a whole-group discussion. (Option: Consider having staff with different roles pair up to discuss the webcast, and then share the highlights of their discussions with the whole group.)

    • In what ways can the service areas work together to make progress toward Family Outcomes?
    • What big ideas did you hear during this webcast? How might you use these ideas to inform your program's work?
    • How can family services staff and early education staff work together to make progress toward Family Engagement Outcomes?
  5. Summarize the discussion by connecting the group's comments to the roles that family services staff and early education staff play in engaging families to make progress toward child and family outcomes, across the Program Impact Areas.

Part 3

  1. Ask participants to review the OHS PFCE Framework. Lead a discussion using the following questions: - What are you thinking about your role in family engagement now?
  2. What are you thinking about the roles that other staff play in family engagement?

  3. Summarize the discussion by highlighting how PFCE is part of all staff roles, using examples shared during the discussion.

Reflective practice opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the boxes provided.
  • Use the OHS PFCE Framework to talk about each staff member's role in family engagement. Ask staff where they see their role in this approach. Discuss ways to work with teams, leadership, co-workers, supervisors, and community partners to engage families across the program.
Learning Extension F
Fillable PFCE Framework Activity
  Estimated Time:

Explore how staff roles in the Program Foundation (systems) and Program Impact Areas (services) of the OHS PFCE Framework support progress toward positive outcomes for families and children.

Guiding question: How can I help make PFCE a part of all staff members' roles in my program?

Resources you will need:

  • Document: OHS PFCE Framework
  • Document: Reflective Practice Tool
  • Option 1: Flip-chart paper, markers, and timer
  • Option 2: Document: PFCE Fillable Framework

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions and choose whether you will use Option 1 or Option 2.
  • Review the OHS PFCE Framework.
  • For Option 1: Prepare flip-chart paper by labeling each page with one of the seven elements from the PFCE Framework (three Program Foundations and four Program Impact Areas). Post the pages around the room.
  • For Option 2: Print copies of the PFCE Fillable Framework as a handout for the group.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Directions:

  1. Introduce the activity to the group by reviewing the work they have done in previous learning extensions to explore the roles that all staff have to play in family engagement. Remind your group that the PFCE Framework provides a way to think about how systems and services work together to support progress toward family and child outcomes.

Option 1

  1. Explain that this is an opportunity to identify the role that all staff have in family engagement. Show the group where each of the OHS PFCE Framework elements is posted around the room.

  2. Divide the group into seven smaller groups or pairs. Each group will have a chance to visit each chart and post examples of how staff support family engagement in each of the seven elements of the PFCE Framework (three Program Foundations and four Program Impact Areas).

Ask them to note both the role of the staff and examples of strategies the staff use to build family engagement.

  1. Assign each group a chart to begin. Explain that they will have five minutes to write roles of staff and example activities on the first chart. Then they will rotate to the next chart, with three minutes to review and add comments. The activity will take a total of 23 minutes, plus transition time, to allow every group to visit each chart.

  2. Ask the groups to get started. After five minutes, have them rotate to the next chart around the room. Continue to do this until all the groups have visited all the charts. Note:

    • The first round will need more time than the following rounds.
    • Remind group members to review what is already on the chart and add to what is there.
  3. When all the groups have had an opportunity to add to each chart, invite the group members to review what is on the charts and then return to their seats.

  4. Lead a whole-group discussion by asking group members what they discovered during this activity. What questions do they still have? What are they still wondering about?

Option 2

  1. Provide each group member with a copy of the Fillable PFCE Framework template.

  2. Explain that this is an opportunity to identify the role that all staff play in family engagement and strategies for PFCE.

  3. Have group members list examples of how staff support family engagement in the Program Foundations and Program Impact Areas on their Fillable PFCE Framework. Ask them to note both the role of the staff and examples of strategies they use to build family engagement.

  4. Divide the group members into small groups of three to five people. Have them share what they noted on their Fillable PFCE Frameworks with each other.

  5. Lead a whole-group discussion by asking the small groups what they discovered during this activity. What connections do they see? What questions do they still have? What are they still wondering?

Reflective practice opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the boxes provided
  • Use the Fillable PFCE Framework to continue to identify how staff can support family engagement as part of their roles.
  • Use the information gathered during this activity to reflect on how the examples contribute to making progress toward Family Engagement Outcomes.
  • Identify which of the seven OHS PFCE Framework elements to focus on strengthening.
  • Then, use the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies to choose specific knowledge, skills, or actions you want to strengthen to carry out strategies related to PFCE goals and objectives. Identify what you will do and what you need to strengthen your work in this way. Share your plan with one of your colleagues. Consider using the Relationship-Based Competencies Self-Assessment Tool for Staff or the Self-Assessment Tool for Supervisors to track your progress.
Download Individual Resources
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
PFCE Fillable Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension G
Relationship-Based Competencies
  Estimated Time: 30-60 minutes

Explore the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies and how they connect to the PFCE Framework. Use what you find to create an individual action plan for family engagement.

Guiding question: How can I help make PFCE a part of all staff members' roles in my program?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Review the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies. Print copies as a handout for your group. Share with group members to read before the session, or include time for reading during the session.
  • Print copies of the Family Engagement Action Plan and the Reflective Practice Tool as handouts for your group.

Directions:

Part 1

  1. Choose one competency from the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies and review the knowledge, skills, and actions with your group. Highlight the following points:

    • Knowledge, skills, and actions are defined for both staff working directly with families, as well as their supervisors. We know that for individual staff to be successful, they must have the support of their supervisor and the entire organization (e.g., practices, culture, etc.).
    • This organization of knowledge, skills, and actions aligns to the process of learning a new skill. You first gain the knowledge, then the skills. Then you turn the knowledge and skills into action.
    • Notice that each competency is aligned with the Program Foundations, Program Impact Areas, and Family Engagement Outcomes of the OHS PFCE Framework.
  2. Ask your group members:

  3. What do you notice about the list of competencies on page 4 of the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies?
  4. What looks familiar? What is new?
  5. How do the competencies connect to the PFCE Framework elements also listed on that page?

  6. Ask your group to select and read one competency. Tell the group they should focus on their role (direct staff or supervisor) and then:

    • Identify two or more skills you would like to focus on in the next three months.
    • Reflect on what you would need (tools, support, etc.) in order to grow in your chosen area.
  7. Have your group members work in small groups of three people. Ask them to share which competency they chose, the skills needed for the competency, and the support they need to work on those skills.

  8. Lead a whole-group discussion using these questions:

    • What did you discover about the competencies?
    • What did you notice as groups reported out? Did anything surprise you? Was anything confirmed?
  9. Summarize and transition to the next part of the exercise by highlighting that the Relationship-Based Competencies are meant to support us in identifying the knowledge, skills, and actions that make us most successful in our work with families and children.

Part 2:

  1. Explain to the group that they will be creating an action plan for their own professional development using the Relationship-Based Competencies using the Family Engagement Action Plan.

  2. Provide group members enough time to complete an action plan for at least one competency. Once each person finishes, have them pair off and share their plans with their partners.

  3. Lead a whole-group discussion. Ask group members to share any discoveries or confirmations they had during their planning and sharing.

  4. Summarize by highlighting how the Relationship-Based Competencies are used as a framework for the skills that professionals need to effectively work with families.

  5. Encourage group members to continue to build their Family Engagement Action Plans. Remind them to document their successes as their plans are implemented!

Reflective practice opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the boxes provided.
  • Have group members share their plans with a team member or supervisor in their program and discuss how the plan is progressing.
  • Use your Family Engagement Action Plan to reflect on strengths and opportunities, individually or with your staff team.