Family with child

Content Area:

Leadership & Program Practices

This Content Area Covers:

  • What is the role of Program Foundations in PFCE?
  • How can staff and leaders nurture Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships through the Program Foundation?
  • How can staff and leaders identify strengths, opportunities, and strategies to improve their program?

Introduction

Head Start, Early Head Start, and other early care and education organizations need strong foundations to make the kind of progress that leads to lasting change for families and enduring progress for children. The Program Foundations of the Office of Head Start (OHS) PFCE Framework work hand-in-hand with the Program Impact Areas. These elements support systemic, integrated, and comprehensive approaches to family engagement. When PFCE is approached in this way programs are more likely to make progress toward positive outcomes for families and children.

PFCE Framework Program Foundations

  • Program leadership sets a clear vision and ambitious goals for PFCE. Program Leadership ensures that systems and services include practices that help PFCE flourish.
  • Continuous Program Improvement begins with Program Leadership, but is part of everyone's role. Together, staff, families, and partners create an environment in which everyone wants to learn and learn and works to engage families and children more effectively. For Continuous Program Improvement programs use four data activities to inform the five-year planning process. By identifying what is working, what isn't, and how to refine goals, objectives, and strategies, programs can continue to make progress toward outcomes for children and families.
  • Professional Development embraces the idea that Family Engagement is Everybody's Business. PFCE is incorporated in professional growth opportunities for all staff. These opportunities include training, supervision, recognition, mentoring, coaching, and providing information about career options.

Getting Started

Get started by downloading and reviewing the following resources:


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At-a-Glance

A
Learning Extension A
Family Engagement in Your Program
B
Learning Extension B
PFCE Markers of Progress
C
Learning Extension C
Exploring the Role of Program Leadership in Implementing PFCE
D
Learning Extension D
Organizational Culture and Successful PFCE
E
Learning Extension E
Program Scenario: Program Foundations in Action
F
Learning Extension F
Sharing Stories: Alecia and Joseph
G
Learning Extension G
Exploring Leadership and Staff Perspectives
H
Learning Extension H
Exploring Our and Community Leaders' Perspectives
I
Learning Extension I
Relationship-Based Competencies for Supervisors
J
Learning Extension J
Beginning a PFCE Assessment
Learning Extension A
Family Engagement in Your Program
  Estimated Time: 30-45

Begin with a general reflection on family engagement in your program. What does family engagement look like? Explore a time when your program successfully engaged families. What happened that made family engagement successful? What contributed to that success?

Guiding Question: What is the role of Program Foundations in PFCE?

Resources you will need:

  • OHS PFCE Framework (pages 1-5)
  • Flip-chart paper and markers
  • Reflective Practice Tool (see Appendix A)

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions
  • Review pages 1-5 of OHS PFCE Framework.
  • Print copies of pages 1-5 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 OHS PFCE Framework to the group by briefly reviewing the Program Foundations, Program Impact Areas, Family Engagement Outcomes, and Child Outcomes. Explain that the PFCE Framework provides us a way to think about family engagement across all aspects of an organization. Refer the group to the definitions on pages 2-5 to use as a reference during discussions.

  2. Ask group members to think of a time their program was successful with family engagement (i.e., where staff partnered with families and children to make progress toward goals) and answer these questions:

    • What does successful engagement look like?
    • How did you know that you were successful?
    • What was it about your program that contributed to this success?
  3. Have group members share their stories in small groups or in pairs. Ask them to discuss:

    • What contributed to your program’s success?
    • Which elements in the Program Foundations and the Program Impact Areas were used to achieve success?
    • What strategies related to these elements?
  4. Ask group members to share their insights about successful engagement with the whole group. Use flip-chart paper and markers to take notes of the ideas and themes that emerge.

  5. Lead a whole-group discussion by reviewing the notes and identifying connections between the ideas and themes. Pay particular attention to the role of Program Leadership, Continuous Program Improvement, and Professional Development. For example, if family engagement is successful because of strong family-staff relationships, how did Program Leadership support those relationships? Did Program Leadership offer innovative professional development, reflective supervision, or access to resources through strong community partnerships? How could adding another element contribute to success?

  6. Conclude this learning extension by reviewing the PFCE Framework and tying the themes from the group’s stories back to the Program Foundations and Program Impact Areas.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and write your reflections in the space provided.
  • Review the Program Foundations definitions on pages 2-3 of the OHS PFCE Framework. Reflect with your leadership team about how the three Program Foundations work together in your program. What are your organization's strengths? Where might there be opportunities for improvement?
Download Individual Resources
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension B
PFCE Markers of Progress
  Estimated Time: 30-45 minutes

Explore the PFCE Markers of Progress for implementing family engagement. Identify strategies you can use to depend PFCE across your program's systems and services.

Guiding Question: How can staff and leaders identify strengths, opportunities, and strategies to improve their program?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Review the MOP. Decide which Program Foundation you'd like to focus on with your group: Program Leadership (pages 29-33), Continuous Improvement (pages 35-37), or Professional Development (pages 39-44).
  • Print copies of the document sections you plan to use as handouts 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.

Tip:

You may complete this learning extensions in a group or by yourself. If you are working alone, considering using the Digital Markers of Progress at http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/dmop/en-us/.

Directions:

  1. Explain that the group will be using the MOP to examine programs' PFCE accomplishments. The MOP offers concrete ways for program staff and supervisors to assess their programs, plus innovative ways to enhance PFCE work.

Part 1

  1. Ask each group member to rate their progams leadership on their own, using the Collaborative Decision-making Indicator on page 31 of the MOP.

  2. Remind the participants to write why they gave their program the rating they did. What specific actions or aspects of their program support the rating?

Part 2

  1. Divide into small groups. If you have fewer than six people, do this activity as a whole group.

  2. Ask the participants to share their individual ratings and discuss how they determined the ratings with their groups. What evidence or data support the rating? If group members disagree about a rating, discuss until the group comes to a consensus.

  3. Ask each small group to choose a reporter to share the rating with the whole group. Ask them to include what specific actions or aspects of their program support this rating.

  4. Lead a whole-group discussion by asking "How can you move your program to the next level (e.g., from Starting Point to Progressing or from Progressing to Innovating)? Continue the discussion by asking the following questions:

    • What did you discover during this activity?
    • What surprised you?
    • What are you still wondering?
    • What do you feel proud about?
  5. Use the other indicators from the MOP to rate your program's Program Leadership, Continuous Program Improvement, and/or Professional Development, using the same process outlined above.

  6. Wrap up the discussion by reminding participants that they can use the MOP to create an action plan to help move their programs to the next level.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and note reflections in the space provided.
  • Use the process in part 2 of the directions above at staff meetings. Ask staff to reflect on their own about their program. Then ask them to reflect as a group on where their program is on the continuum and how they might move their program to the next level.
Learning Extension C
Exploring the Role of Program Leadership in Implementing PFCE
  Estimated Time: 30-45 minutes

Explore the role of Program Leadership in creating opportunities for intentional, interconnected parent, family, and community engagement that supports family outcomes and children's school readiness. Learn about the role of leadership in systems and services that contribute to systemic, integrated, and comprehensive family engagement.

Guiding Question: What is the role of Program Foundations in PFCE?

Resources you will need:

  • The Role of Leadership: Strategies for Implementing and Sustaining Change (minutes 00:00-18:29 and 18:30-38:09)
  • Reflective Practice Tool (see Appendix A)

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Preview the webinar The Role of Leadership: Strategies for Implementing and Sustaining Change.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Directions: Part 1

  1. Introduce the webinar to your group by explaining that you will be learning about the influence of Program Leadership on effective parent, family, and community engagement.

  2. Watch the first section of the webinar (minutes 00:00-18:29).

  3. Highlight the three leadership qualities that John Kotter identifies in the webinar. Discuss how they relate to implementing the PFCE Framework:

    • Sets direction for change: Leaders use the PFCE Framework as a guide to set goals, objectives, and strategies to make progress toward expected outcomes.
    • Aligns people: Leaders use Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships to connect to staff members and share a common vision for the program.
    • Motivates: Leaders recognize success, the value of everyone's contributions, and embeded this value in the program's professional development systems.
  4. Divide the group into three smaller groups or pairs. Assign each group one of the following three questions to discuss:

    • How does (or how might( your leadership team use the PFCE Framework to set goals, objectives, and strategies for implementing PFCE?
    • How does your Program Leadership team build relationships among staff, family, and community partners that support a common vision for PFCE?
    • How do your program's professional development systems recognize success and value everyone's contribution?
  5. Ask the small groups to identify two or three highlights to share with the whole group. Provide time for the group to comment and ask questions.

  6. Summarize this activity by reviewing the three qualities of leadership and how leadership is essential for successful PFCE across program systems and services.

Part 2(Optional)

  1. Watch the next section of the webinar (minutes 18:30-38:09), where two programs discuss their experiences implementing PFCE.

  2. Ask the participants to consider the following questions in a whole-group discussion:

    • What strategies for effective Program Leadership did these programs use to support PFCE?
    • What resulted from using these strategies for staff, families, and community partners?
    • How are these strategies woven through the Program Foundations and Program Impact Areas?
    • How will you use strategies for effective Program Leadership to guide your program's efforts to make progress toward outcomes?

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and note reflections in the space provided.
  • Consider the three qualities of leadership discussed in this webinar. Which ones do you use? How might you strengthen your use of these leadership qualities in your work?
Learning Extension D
Organizational Culture and Successful PFCE
  Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes

Explore an example of how Program Leadership contributes to developing an organizational culture that supports PFCE, plus ongoing improvement and staff development.

Guiding Question: What is the role of Program Foundations in PFCE?

Resources you will need:

  • OHS PFCE Framework (pages 2-3)
  • Learning in Partnership: Using Data and Reflective Practice in Programs
  • Improving Family Engagement: The Organizational Context and its Influence on Partnering with Parents in Formal Child Care Settings
  • Flip-chart paper and markers
  • Reflective Practice Tool (see Appendix A)

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Preview the video Learning in Partnership: Using Data and Reflective Practice in Programs.
  • Review the document Improving Family Engagement.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Tip:

Introduce the group to the PFCE Framework Program Foundations, review the definitions on pages 2-3 in the OHS PFCE Framework document.

Directions: Part 1

  1. Share the definition of "organizational culture" with the group:

    • Organizational culture refers to the shared norms, beliefs, and behavioral expectations that drive behavior and communicate what is valued by the organization.
  2. Tell the group that they will watch a video to see how organizational culture contributes to successful PFCE. The video also demonstrates how Program Leadership, Continuous Program Improvement, and Professional Development help shape organizational culture.

  3. Divide the group into three smaller groups. Assign each small group one of the three following sets of questions to discuss.

    • Group 1: What Program Leadership strategies did you see? Did you see any opportunities to improve Program Leadership? What would you have done differently?
    • Group 2: What Continuous Program Improvement strategies did you see? Did you see any opportunities to improve Continuous Program Improvement? What would you have done differently?
    • Group 3: What Professional Development strategies did you see? Did you see any opportunities to improve Professional Development? What would you have done differently?
  4. Watch the video.

  5. Ask the small groups to discuss what they observed, using the questions above. Remind them to be prepared to share highlights from their discussions.

  6. Lead a whole-group discussion by asking each of the smaller groups to share highlights of the strategies and opportunities they observed related to each of the Program Foundations. Options: Write notes from these conversations of flip-chart paper.

  7. After each small group has had an opportunity to share, ask them the following questions, recording their answers on flip-chart paper.

    • What connections did you observe among the three Program Foundations?
    • What did you notice about the organizational culture of this program?

Part 2

  1. Continue this exercise by sharing research about how organizational context influences how we partner with families in early childhood programs. Review the five components of organizational culture identified by Anne Douglass in Improving Family Engagement that help staff be responsive to families.

    • Staff members reflect the cultures and languages of families served.
    • Power is democratic and participatory; staff, families, partners, and community stakeholders have opportunities to provide input and influence decisions.
    • There are systems that support use of relationship-based competencies for caring, flexible, and responsive approaches to individual needs of families.
    • Everyone (staff and parents) has opportunities to share knowledge, expertise, and power.
    • Staff relationships are caring, reciprocal, and respectful; leaders model this in their relationships with staff. Option: Post these five components on flip-chart paper or on a PowerPoint slide for the group to reference.
  2. Ask the group to review the flip charts created in Part 1. Lead a discussion by asking them which of the five components they observed in the video.

  3. Wrap up the discussion by summarizing the highlights and themes that emerged.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and note reflections in the space provided.
  • Choose one of the strategies identified in Part 1 of this learning extensions to try with your program. Try it and share with your team what happens, what you learned, and what you want to try next.
  • Review the definition of organizational culture with your leadership team. What are your organization's shared norms, beliefs, and values? How do they shape your organization's work with families?
Download Individual Resources
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension E
Program Scenario: Program Foundations in Action
  Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Explore how Program Leadership, Continuous Program Improvement, and Professional Development contribute to one program's successful PFCE. Analyze how organizational culture and relationships among families, staff, and community partners contribute to their success in working with the local Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Guiding Question: What is the role of Program Foundations in PFCE?

Resources you will need:

  • Program Scenario Script (see Appendix B)
  • Reflective Practice Tool (see Appendix A)

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Review the Program Scenario Script.
  • Print copies of the Program Scenario Script 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 this exercise by telling participants they will be reading a story about Mountainside Head Start/Early Head Start and discussing the Program Foundations and organizational culture of the program.

  2. Divide the group into three smaller groups. Assign each small group one of the following questions:

    • All groups: How ere PFCE outcomes impacted in this scenario?
    • Group 1: How did Program Leadership impact the outcomes in this scenario?
    • Group 2: How did relationships impact Continuous Program Improvement in this scenario?
    • Group 3: What did you notice about the organizational culture of the Head Start program in the scenario?
  3. Read the scenario out loud, inviting participants to read along with the scenario script.

  4. Ask each group to share what they observed for the question they were assigned.

  5. Wrap up the discussion by reflecting on the following questions together:

    • What discoveries did you make while listening to the scenario?
    • What is your biggest takeaway from this scenario?

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and note reflections in the space provided.
  • Review the sixth competency from the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies: Family Access to Community Resources (page 10). Identify the associated knowledge, skills, and actions. What opportunities are there in your community for representatives of community organizations to meet together? How might you use these opportunities to coordinate and work together to offer services to families?
Download Individual Resources
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension F
Sharing Stories: Alecia and Joseph
  Estimated Time: 45-60 minutes

Think more deeply about the PFCE Framework and the role of the Program Foundations. Explore how Program Leadership, Continuous Program Improvement, and Professional Development contribute to successful implementation of PFCE and progress toward family and child outcomes.

Guiding Question: What is the role of Program Foundations in PFCE?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Review pages 7-8 of ISPP, Part II.
  • Print copies of pages 7-8 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: Option 1

  1. Explain to your group they are going to hear Alecia and Joseph's story. Tell them you will read the story out loud. Alternatively, ask group members to take on the roles of Joseph and Alecia and read the story together.

  2. Ask group members to think about the following discussion questions as they listen to the story:

    • Which Family Engagement Outcomes are addressed in the story?
    • What strategies are used by the program in the story?
    • Which Program Foundation(s) strategies do you see at work in the story?
  3. Read the story with the group.

  4. After listening to the story, have group members reflect about the discussion questions in pairs.

  5. Lead a whole-group discussion, asking the pairs to share highlights from their conversations. Highlight examples where the Program Leadership, Continuous Program Improvement, and Professional Development connect to each other and the strategies that the group identifies.

Option 2

  1. Explain to the group that they are going to have an opportunity to share their own stories about family and community engagement.

  2. Ask each participant to think of a story about his or her work with PFCE. Remind them to be considerate of the privacy of staff, families, and children in their programs.

  3. Divide the group into pairs and ask participants to share their stories. Provide time for the pairs to share. Ask them to consider the following discussion questions as they listen to each other's stories:

    • Which Family Engagement Outcomes were addressed?
    • What strategies were used?
    • Which Program Foundation strategies did you see at work in the story?
  4. Lead a whole-group discussion by asking the pairs to share highlights from their conversations. Highlight examples where the Program Leadership, Continuous Program Improvement, and Professional Development connect to each other and the strategies that the group identifies.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and note reflections in the space provided.
  • Complete any of the Follow-Up Activities in the ISPP, Part II (pages 12-13). Incorporate the strategies you identify into your program plans.
Learning Extension G
Exploring Leadership and Staff Perspectives
  Estimated Time: 30-60 minutes

Explore the expectations that leadership teams and staff have of one another. This exercise introduces how the practice of perspective taking influence Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships among staff.

Guiding Questions: How can staff and leaders nurture Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships through the Program Foundations?

Resources you will need:

  • Flip chart paper and markers
  • Reflective Practice Tool (see Appendix A)

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Prepare two flip-chart pages, labeling each with one of the following questions:
    • What do you as leaders expect from staff?
    • What do staff expect from program leaders? Post the charts, with the questions covered, around the room.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Options:

Consider your audience for this activity. Depending on the situation, complete this activity with different groups This might mean: - Program leadership only - Program leadership and front-line staff

Tip:

If you have more time, have each group share their expectations after each question.

Directions:

  1. Introduce the activity and ask the group to divide into smaller groups of three to six people. Ask each small group to identify a note taker and a reporter. If you have a smaller group, do this activity together as a whole.

  2. Ask the participants to think about their interactions with other staff. Uncover the first flip-chart paper and ask them to discuss to question, "What do you, as leaders, expect of staff in your program?" Ask each note taker to record their group's conversations.

  3. Ask the participants to review their responses and identify their two most important expectations to share in a whole-group discussion.

  4. Uncover the sound flip chart for the participants to discuss the question, "What do staff expect of leaders?" Ask each note taker to record their group's conversations.

  5. Ask the participants to review their responses and identify their two most important expectations to share.

  6. Lead a discussion about the two questions, asking the reporters to share their groups' insights. During this conversation, have participants clarify by asking, "What would that look like?" and "How would you know if that expectation was being met?" Write their responses and insights on the corresponding flip charts.

  7. Ask the whole group to compare and reflect on the similarities and differences they see in the two lists.

  8. Wrap up the discussion by asking:

    • What was confirming or surprising about the discussion?
    • How might this exercise influence your work with other staff in your programs?
    • How did this experience influence your thoughts about the Program Foundations?
    • How do expectations support or hinder the creation of an organizational culture that supports PFCE?
  9. Highlight key points:

    • A common value leadership and staff share is concern for families and children.
    • Our expectations are part of our perspectives and influence how we view staff behaviors.
    • When leadership or staff do not meet our expectations of them, we often make assumptions about why they don't.
    • These assumptions can affect our relationships with each other and how we respond and interact.
    • When our expectations are not met, challenges can arise in our relationships.
    • By exploring expectations, understanding of our own perspective (values, beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations of situations) increases. This can be helpful in determining how best to engage with staff when challenges arise.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and note reflections in the space provided.
  • Encourage your group members to consider how they might use perspective taking in their ongoing work with other staff.
  • Review the third competency from the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies: Self-Aware and Culturally Responsive Relationships (page 6). Review the actions for your supervisor. How can you use perspective taking to help you build culturally responsive relationship with staff that contribute to a strong organizational culture?
Download Individual Resources
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension H
Exploring Our and Community Leaders' Perspectives
  Estimated Time: 30-60 minutes

Consider the expectations that program leaders and community partners have for one another. This exercise introduces how the practice of perspective-taking can enhance Positive Goal Oriented Relationships between program leaders and community partners.

Guiding Questions: How can staff and leaders nurture Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships through the Program Foundations?

Resources you will need:

  • Flip-chart paper and markers
  • Reflective Practice Tool (see Appendix A)

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Prepare two flip-chart pages, labeling each with one of the following questions:
    • What do you expect of your community partners?
    • What do community partners expect from you? Post the charts around the room with the questions covered.
  • Print copies of the Reflective Practice Tool as a handout for your group.

Option:

Consider your audience for this activity. Depending on the situation, complete it with difference audiences. This might mean: - Program leadership and staff. - Program leadership, staff and community partners.

Directions:

  1. Introduce the activity and ask the participants to from small groups of three to six people. Ask each small group to identify a note taker and a reporter. If you have a smaller group, do this activity together.

  2. Uncover the first flip chart and ask participants to discuss the question, "What does your Head Start program expect of your community partners?" Ask each note taker to record their group's conversation.

  3. Ask the participants to review their responses and identify their two most important expectations to share with the whole group.

  4. Uncover the second flip chart and ask participants to discuss the question, "What do community partners expect of your Head Start program?" Ask each note taker to record their group's conversations.

  5. Ask the participants to review their responses and identify the two most important expectations to the group.

  6. Lead a discussion by asking each reporter to share the most important insights from their group's conversation. During this discussion, have group members clarify or expand by asking, "What would that look like?" and "How would you know if that expectation was being met?" Write their responses on the corresponding flip charts.

  7. Ask the whole group to compare and reflect on the similarities and differences they see in the two lists.

  8. Wrap up the discussion by asking what was affirming or surprising about this discussion. Invite everyone to reflect and share how this exercise might influence their work with community partners in the future.

  9. Highlight the following key points:

    • A common value we share with community partners is concern for families and children.
    • Our expectations are part of our perspective how we view community partners' behaviors and how we approach building partnerships with them.
    • When community partners do not meet our expectations, we often make assumptions about why they don't.
    • These assumptions affect our relationships with community partners and how we respond to them.
    • When expectations are not met, challenges can arise in our relationships with community partners.
    • By exploring expectations, understanding of our own perspectives (values, biases, assumptions, and hot buttons) increases. This can be used to help determine how best to engage with community partners when challenges do arise.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Encourage your group members to consider how they might use perspective taking in their ongoing work with community partners.
  • Consider adding time for reflecting on the perspectives that community partners bring to partner meetings.
  • Review the sixth competency from the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies: Family Access to Community Resources (page 10). Review the actions. How might working with perspectives build and maintain internal and external professional relationship with community, state, or national groups? What are some ways you can provide opportunities for representatives of community organizations to meet and discuss offerings with families?
Download Individual Resources
OHS PFCE Framework
1MB PDF
Learning Extension I
Relationship-Based Competencies for Supervisors
  Estimated Time: 30-45 minutes

Explore the Relationship-Based Competencies and how they can help identify the skills needed to navigate challenges that occur when working with families, staff, program leaders, and community partners. This process can support your program's strengths and professional development needs and inform your professional development plans.

Guiding Questions: How can staff and leaders nurture Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships through the Program Foundations?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Print copies of the document Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-based Competencies as a handout for your group of supervisors. 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.

Note: This learning extensions is designed specifically for supervisors.

Directions:

  1. Introduce the activity by reviewing the nine Relationship-Based Competencies (RBCs) with the participants. Explain to them the document outlines the knowledge, skills, and actions for supervisors and staff working with families. Remind participants that each competency includes information specifically for staff and specifically for supervisors.

  2. Divide the whole group into smaller groups of two to five people. If you have a small group, do this activity together.

  3. Review the following instructions with the group before starting:

    • Identify a challenge around building program Positive Goal-Oriented Relationships. This challenge could be between program leadership and staff, or program staff and community partners, with a focus on challenges that occur within the Program Foundations areas. This could be a current or a past challenge.
  4. Give each group time to discuss and record their insights.

  5. When the participants are finished, ask each reporter to share a summary of their discussions.

  6. Lead a whole-group discussion by identifying the themes that emerge from the participants' insights.

  7. Review the following key points with the group:

    • In order to have a relationship-based organizational culture, you have to have competent staff who embrace PFCE.
    • The RBCs help define the knowledge and skills needed by staff in an organization that embraces PFCE.
  8. Ask each participant to individually reflect on how they can use the RBCs to support their professional development, particularly in the area of leadership. Have them write down their next steps and share with another person.

  9. Provide an opportunity by participants to share their next steps with the whole group. Conclude the discussion by summarizing the strategies discovered during this activity and how they might be used to inform individual and program professional development plans.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

Learning Extension J
Beginning a PFCE Assessment
  Estimated Time: 30-60 minutes

Think about the PFCE Framework and where your program is in the process of implementing systemic, integrated, and comprehensive approaches to family engagement. Consider what your program data mean and how that data can help improve and strengthen your Program Foundations.

Guiding Question: How can staff and leaders identify strengths, opportunities, and strategies to improve their program?

Resources you will need:

Before you begin:

  • Review the directions.
  • Review the document Beginning a PFCE Assessment. Choose between one and three Program Foundations to focus on with the group: Program Leadership (pages 11-13), Continuous Program Involvement (pages 15-16), or Professional Development (pages 17-19).
  • Print copies of the document sections you plan to use 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.

Tip:

Consider your audience for this activity. Depending on the situation, consider doing this activity with different stakeholder groups, including program leadership, staff and community partners. For more information on assessing PFCE, refer to Bringing the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework to Your Program: Beginning a PFCE Assessment (page 7).

Directions: Part 1

  1. Explain to your group how the document Beginning a PFCE Assessment is organized.

    • The document is designed to help you think strategically about how to implement the PFCE Framework in a systemic, integrated, and comprehensive way throughout your program's work with families.
    • You have the opportunity to take a close look at each Program Foundation and Program Impact Area from the PFCE Framework.
    • Examples are provided of where a program might start and move to as PFCE becomes more system, integrated, and comprehensive.
    • 'Take a Moment to Think...' questions help guide your assessment and think about how to strengthen and improve your program's work.
  2. Share which Program Foundation(s) you will be discussing with the group.

  3. Ask each participant to review the sections by themselves and write their responses to the 'Take a Moment to Think...' questions in the space provided.

  4. Divide into pairs or small groups of three to five people. Remind the groups to be prepared to share two or three discoveries or things they are wondering with the whole group.

  5. Ask small groups to share their responses to the 'Take a Moment to Think...' questions with each other.

  6. Ask each small group to share what they discovered and what they are wondering with the whole group.

  7. If you choose to work with more than one Program Foundation during this session, repeat the steps above for the other Program Foundations.

  8. Wrap up summarizing the themes that emerge from the small group conversations.

  9. Ask each participant to reflect on how they might use the document Beginning a PFCE Assessment in their own program. Write their next steps and share with a partner.

  10. Provide time for the group members who want to share to discuss their next steps with the whole group.

Reflective Practice Opportunities:

  • Using the Reflective Practice Tool, review the last three questions and note reflections in the space provided.
  • Consider using document Beginning a PFCE Assessment in board meetings, with Policy Councils, and during staff meetings to reflect on your programs' progress implementing PFCE. Document the discussions and use the results to inform your program planning.

Additional Resources to Explore

Families as Learners
1MB PDF