Strengthening Family Well-being Through Engaged Community Partnerships
Brandi Black Thacker: This webinar, as you know, is fully and solely based on how we engage community with family well-being specifically in mind. And you guys, again, know those words aren't chosen in vain. Each of these words means something very specific to us and our Head Start communities, and we're going to ground there as we get started today. This is the first in a series of three conversations that we are going to be having with community engagement as the focus.
We're going to show you in a little bit what the rest of those mean and what they're going to look like and when, but welcome to the first of the three. All right. From here, I have one of the most distinct honors I have to say, two of my most favorite people in the whole wide world are on the line today, and I want you to meet them today.
If you've been with us before, you might recognize my country accent. This is Brandi Black Thacker. Hello everybody. I’m the director of training technical assistance and collaboration for the National Center on Parent, Family, Community Engagement, and I have the real pleasure of introducing to you the two other folks that you see on the screen today. Doctor, everybody, Guylaine Richard, and Kiersten Beigel. Take it away, G.
Dr. Guylaine Richard: Good morning, everyone, I am Guylaine Richard and I'm the director of training development at the National Center. It's a pleasure for me to be with you this afternoon. Kiersten, your turn.
Kiersten Beigel: Good afternoon, Head Start and Early Head Start, and our community partners. Welcome, welcome. I am really glad to be with you. I work at the Office of Head Start as the lead for all things family-related, that's what I say, and I want to acknowledge, like, appreciate—if you weren't here in the beginning of the webinar, the early minutes of the webinar, we had some initial conversation about COVID-19, and I wanted to just, you know, we were talking about this webinar and were planning for it, and we were thinking, "Gosh, you know, what's the pulse of our community today, how are people feeling, and how much should we focus on COVID-19, versus focusing on our work and each other in a way that can also be really helpful, right? Because we're all really inundated.
We also didn't know how many people were going to come today because, you know, we just don't have a really good sense, although at the Office of Head Start, we're trying to track programs closing, and there is increasing numbers of programs closing, of course, just like along with the schools. But, you know, we just don't have a sense of the local decisions on that, and how many folks are working, etc., so we just didn't know and what we're seeing here is that there's a huge number of you coming to this webinar today, which reminds me that we're all entering into this very virtual way of relating with each other and so we need our webinar perhaps now more than ever.
Anyway, I do want to point out to you all that the Office of Head Start right now is working very hard on a daily basis to try to get your programs the information that you need to address any policy issues where we can, and our wonderful National Center folks were sure to include some recent links of communications that have gone out to programs—they're on the left side there. There's a video that Dr. Bergeron did with Marco Beltran about COVID-19. There's a communication about flexibilities around the Childhood Adult Food Care Program, which you've already seen, several of you mentioning the ways that you're getting food to families and children right now already.
And then very, very importantly, we wanted to include for you all, in case you haven't seen it yet, the communication about salaries and wages, and the importance of programs ensuring that staff, whether or not they're able, you're able to show up to the office, or to your work that you receive your wages and your benefits during this time. That's in effect until April 30, or until otherwise—otherwise directed from the Office of Head Start.
So, we will keep doing and looking for ways ... We're hearing you, we're hearing your challenges, we're feeling, you know, your—we're feeling your stress and we're, you know, indebted to you for what you're trying to make happen, and knowing that your decision-making is just, kind of, you know, on a hour-to-hour basis, just like ours are. We're all in this together. I want to also to just kind of acknowledge, maybe all thinking about Brandi's words at the beginning, for us to just take a moment where we are right now and just to take a deep breath. Just ... In through the nose. Fill up your belly. Let it out. You know no doubt we can all use it, and, you know, as you do that, take a few deep breaths whether you're with people, you know, six-feet away, of course, or you're alone in your home, or in your office, just take a moment to, you know, turn inward and take those deep breaths for yourself.
Feel your feet on the ground, you know, because we're going need to touch in with ourselves as much as we can as we're running around trying to solve all of the problems of our programs and our families. So, just do that for yourself when you can. That was a long introduction, but I just really wanted to speak to everybody. I also wanted to do one more thing, which is to really honor and appreciate all of the family service workers and family advocates who are doing whatever they can right now to—to think about what their families' needs are, think about what their family, communities, and working with your program to do what you can. So, without further ado, I'm going to let us continue on with the webinar, and I do thank you all for being here today.
Brandi: Kiersten, thank you for those words, I'm seeing a lot of support for the space that you gave us to all take a deep breath together, and guys, I mean, I can't help but, you know, wonder, because I know who we are, if we're doing enough of that for ourselves. I mean, we have a heart to serve, we come to work every day, and spring out of bed with that heart to serve, and sometimes we don't pause long enough to check-in on ourselves and what we're feeling and what's happening in our own space, so, ever grateful Kiersten for that reminder and the chance to, together as a community, take that collective deep breath.
So, let's look at this, I promised it for you as, you know, as alluded a little earlier, this is the first of three webinars, and here we are today, on March 17, with the focus on well-being, and how we do that through what we do in our connections to community, you'll see that we are coming back together in April with a focus on family engagement and transition to kindergarten, and finally, we'll wrap up the three-part series in June with a conversation around partnerships with child welfare, all of which I think is going to be truly exciting to sort of explore together—unpack. We know, you know, what's going on in our communities, what the priorities are so these are what we have scheduled so far with these dates that will be coming up. And you guys know how we do it, we spend 90 minutes together sharing content, sharing interactions.
The thing I love about what we do is also this what I call, "after chat." Maybe like the after-party for those who of you who know about such things. I really don't, you know, ... [Laughing] But this was the after chat, so if you have questions or you feel like there are things that we didn't get to that you want to think about more together, we stay on the line for at least 15 minutes after the conclusion of the webinar to hear you, to continue to think together, and you know, answer or weave into our next interactions, you know, questions that still exist for you, so please hang out if you have the space and time to do such thing. Here's what we planned for you today.
Now, I guess I would offer this caveat: Before we got to meet you, and before we got to know who is going to be in this conglomeration of virtual extravaganza today, these are the things that we put forth that we hope to touch. Now, we're totally going to follow your lead on this, and we're going to hover where you take us, so just know, if we pause a little longer than you expected, or if we stay in a place based on the interest that we're following in the chat, or, based on your questions, usually what happens, we know about you guys, is that you take us through the content we proposed in the super organic way.
So, just like we would do with little ones in the classroom and follow their lead, that's what we try to do with, you know, each of us grown-up counterparts. So, you can see here what we've proposed and budgeted if you will for our time together, which is OK. Let's get grounded in how are we defining community engagement in the first place? What does that look and sound like today?
Thinking together as we've already started about creative strategies that not only we can use in Head Start, but how we do what we do in our connections to community partners so that we can foster those collaborations, and that part I'm excited to think about with you guys today [Inaudible], right? I mean, we mobilize in ways that our families and that our communities are telling us that is necessary in those moments in time. We have a six-step process that we're going to propose to you guys in terms of an organizing frame for community engagement and practice.
We have several places for you guys to jump in, and interactions to discuss what great things are happening. But the real, we can't do this without the real of what challenges you might be bumping into so that we can support each other. And then of course, where we started the conversation, which is thinking about innovation, creativity, and those cutting-edge kinds of ideas that you're having in a non-traditional way in some parts the outside-of-the-box connections that you're making to your communities on behalf, of course, our children and families, and each other.
So, this is what we're proposing, and here are some key messages. Like, let's look at these. I think that we're so good at this, that these just feel so organically embedded in how we do what we do, and we know this. When we all work together, everybody wins. It's a proud moment, exclamation point!
It's a win-win, not only for us in the program, but in the community, but most importantly who we strive to serve every single day, the children and the families within the context of our community.
So, when we hold hands, when we work together, it's a win-win. Of course, to do that we have to create the shared vision, and that means a co-construction, that means sort of guiding each other from the side about what fosters and strengthens family well-being, and let's break this down, what that means in terms of what it looks like, right where we live. With the cultural context honored, with the individuals that we get to serve right now today, with what's happening right now today is really what we're hoping to inspire, or let's be real, continue to inspire.
And then of course, these strong sustaining partnerships, they require time. This is not something that we start and end. This is going beyond the MOU. This is not just, you know, check a box and move on. This is how we do what we do, with working together in service of, you know, a larger purpose. And we know that we have to give ourselves permission to stand in that space, and to cultivate, to facilitate, to strengthen, to enhance, you know, these relationships that many of us have had for decades in these communities, and check in on those to not only to see how they're doing, but if we could use them in new and exciting ways at the same time. OK, well with all of that, I'm going to bring it back into the space of everybody. Can I do it Kiersten? The one and only, your favorite friend and mine from the Office of Head Start, [Laughing] Kiersten Biegel.
Kiersten: Yes, you can do it. Come on in.
It's always good to start by grounding ourselves in our performance standards, especially knowing, you know, that we have new staff joining our ranks and wondering what, you know, some of the requirements are. So, on our topic today, community engagement, some relevant standards are here for you. Of course, you can always find these on the ECLKC, but just to summarize, we talk about ongoing collaborative relationships and partnerships with community organizations, and those are required, but they are required only in that you are creating them to ensure families have, and children have, access to services that are responsive to children and families.
And so, you make those decisions about the particular partnerships that are most needed for you and your programs based on your community assessments and your self-assessment information, and your parent feedback and your family assessment information. So, that's how you decide what partnership your program is going to prioritize. As far as the type of relationships you have with your program, there's an expectation that you may have relationships that are borne out by joint agreements, or MOUs. They may be informal, they may be solidified through contract. There may be just some sort of coordination relationships around referrals and that kind of thing, and that again, the kind of partnership and what the needs are for your program and community should determine the way that you approach that relationship.
So, that's kind of a gist of the standards. The standards also list a lot of different ideas for partnerships that are known to be really important for Head Start and Early Head Start programs who are serving vulnerable families, children and families experiencing homelessness, very young parents, parents with infants and toddlers, families who are struggling economically—it goes on and on. So, you know—you know, that list—that I'm talking about.
We've already mentioned on this webinar, probably like 75% of those partnerships that are in the standards, again, mentioned in the standards of possibilities for including in your work today from the webinar. So, there are some other things related to partnership with public schools and, you know, requirements related to entering into MOUs with the local educational and or local schools districts and entities that are managing publicly-funded preschools. But in a nutshell, I think today, and we may touch on that some of our future webinar, just thinking about transition to kindergarten work and relationships with school systems, but I'm not sure we'll jump into that too much today, so I think I'll just stop there.
Dr. Richard: Thanks Kiersten. Actually, I'm going to take from—take it from here. So, we need to define what we are talking about. I know, Kristen, you said that, you know, there are some months that we have to do it, but I am so happy that we know that we have to do it in relation to the communities we serve.
Not everybody would have an MOU, for example, with the hospital, not everybody would have a memorandum of understanding with the police department. So, I would like to go ahead and define what do we see when we say community engagement—when we are talking about community engagement. So, community engagement fully refers to the mutually, and I like the word mutually because it means that, you know, we are going to be two of us—at least like my community partner has to engage with me mutually respectful, strengths-based interaction of Head Start and Early Head Start staff and family, with community members, and agencies at all levels.
So, this is a way for us to understand that we are not alone in the work we do. Our families sometimes are getting also services from other members, from other agencies in their community. So, the outreach that we do, through those communities, are going to be there to benefit those families, but those families may already be receiving services. So the ... When we together put our—our thinking together, our strategies together, we are better off. We have that win-win that Brandi talked about before, and that helps us also deliver the services in a more comprehensive, integrated, and systemic way, you know.
So, community engagement in a way what we are looking at as the fact that we are not doing that alone. But those partnerships also support the parent's role as valued members of the community. So, those parents and their children they live in those communities where we as program staff are providing services. So, when we are connecting with those—with those agencies, we also are supporting them as a valued member of their—of their community, and we can support the progress they make toward their goal for themselves, and also their goals for their children.
So, what we are about to look at, how does the framework? I'm sure that all of us now on the phone on the—on this network are familiar with the PFCE Framework, and actually, this is like, you know, our framework is the anchor of everything we do. And our framework, being a theory of change, is letting us know that if you do this, you will get that, but as a program, I understand that I can't do it alone; so therefore, really, in this framework, we understand that reaching out to community partners, and actually in the program impact area, as we are looking at in the second column, in the pink column, you are seeing the word community partnership.
And it's there not only, because when you look at those elements, the elements are the things that are going to help us get to that engagement that we want. Not only engagement to the families, but also engagement with our community partners. So, community partnership is part of—is one of those essential elements. But why are we doing that? What do we want to do? We said that if we do that, we will get that. What will we get then? What we would be getting are outcomes. We will get results. The more we partner with other agencies that either they can do it, they have more experience than us. Either that they have more funds—more funding than us, either when they can do, and I'm going to say that, a better job than us—oh, we want them to—we want our families to get more than we can ourselves give to them.
So, we are actually working with our community partners to get outcomes, to get results for those families we serve, and also results for the children that—for their children. So, this afternoon we are going to be really focusing on family well-being because that outcome is one of the best predictor of children's school readiness, but this is where, actually, as programs we are doing a lot of our work. We are doing a lot of the work to get the parents safe, to get them to ensure their safety, to ensure that, you know, they have economic mobility. We ensure that, you know, they are also like, you know, their health and mental health are attended to.
So, a lot of the work that we're doing because we serve the neediest of the needy, we understand that family well-being is one of the outcomes that most of our programs are doing some work with families, and this is where sometimes it's very—it's important for us to reach out to community partners. Anything else to add, you know, Kiersten or Brandi, you would add here? Because guess what we're going to do? Actually, Nina, is going to help us we're going to jump in on another ...
We're going to take a poll together. We need to be thinking, and we're going to give you a couple of minutes to think about those. You're going to be thinking about the community partnership that you have now in your program that supports family well-being. Anything that has to do with safety, mental health, health economic mobility, financial security, all those things. We want you to be thinking about.
Now tell us how many of those communities you have. I'm taking a little minute to look at this, but I am seeing you guys just jumping in the second question—in the second section and answering.
This is wonderful. Actually, really focus your attention to what we are asking. We want one, we want which one. We want you to think about one for now. I know probably you have put more than that; that's OK, but I want you to be thinking about one now, and why ... And one of them that you think that you have been most successful with? Think about the partner, that community partner, think about your success with them, and I want you to tell us in chat why you think you're having this—this relationship has been successful. You have been having the best success despite the fact that [Inaudible] So far, so I'm looking at 11 to 20 being the winner.
So, we have, like, most of you have 11 to 20 partners; another, you know, 82 of you have less than between 0 and 10. And I'm seeing that the—41 of you have 31. Kiersten, Brandi, this is really amazing for me. I see somebody, for example, putting school basic clinic, the library, but we want you to be like, you know, mindful of, as you are thinking of that partner, there is something that is happening between you and that partner that is making that success happen, and this is what we want for you to really focus on. Why is it that I'm thinking that the library is a place that I am very successful in getting? Is it because now that the families are able to get the cards? Is it because the library is open to doing something that, you know, they have not done before for the families we serve? Is it—is it the fact that the family—the—the—the way the welcoming environment that they're bringing to the families.
So, all those things are going through your mind as you're thinking about your success with your community partners. So I, you know, this is where we want you to be like thinking, "What is it? What—what is it that is that partner is giving to us as a program or are were giving also to that partner, and what, at the end, remember we said that the purpose of doing those collaborations and doing those partnerships is—is for making sure that the families and the children we serve are getting the—the—the not only the best, but the optimal service that this partner could give.
So, we're going to go back to the ... The poll is closed, so we're going back to the presentation. Thank you so much, Nina.
So, what I would love to be entertaining with you now is that a way for us to look at those priorities that we have for community engagement. A lot ... Engage community partnership, yes, it's going to benefit the children it's going to be benefiting the families and the program staff, too; however, we want to make sure that as we do that, like, they're also going to benefit the agencies and the communities we serve. But partners, we know when we work with a partner, we want to make sure that both of us are able to meet the goals that we have by working together.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs can engage with community partners when while they're focusing on three priorities and learn how to best support. Sometimes you do a partnership with a community partner because you want to focus—you want to support individual families—individual families, which means that the staff will partner with each family to identify their goal, and I know everybody probably is very versed on that, on the family partnership process.
The family tells you about health, the family tells you about their dream, about their hope, about what they want, and their goals, so you go ahead and start thinking, "Oh, OK if she wants to get—if she wants to get her GED, I know where in the community she can get GED classes. If she wants to get into college, I know which college, but do I have a partnership with this?" So staff—so staff works with every family to connect them to the services and resources to match their goals, strength, interest, and needs. The fifth ... The other priority is when programs want to support families in Head Start and Early Head Start, they may look at this as, you know, as "I'm going to be looking at what resources can support a group of families."
Head Start and Early Head Start then will partner with other agencies to learn the best way to provide families with services and resources. They work together to reduce barriers to access. So therefore, if I have a group of families that—if I have families Head Start and Early Head Start, where I know for example a group of families are in need of food, because, you know, based on what I've seen in their assessments and based on their communication with their family service worker, I know there is then, OK, a relationship, a partnership with the food pantry may be a good thing to explore because those families are going to be better served if we have good communication, a good relationship with the food pantry. But the next priority ... Sometimes, programs may want to be—may want to be doing things for the families—all families in the community.
So, what happens then, Head ... Your program can serve in the leadership or partnering role and help coordinate. For example, the early childhood school system of care for families in the community. So, this is like another level, you understand, that this is not only—that, you know, I'm focusing on a group of families—I'm focusing on the families that I work—that I work with, but I am adding a bigger vision for other families in the community.
So agencies then—your agencies and these partners can work together to reduce barriers and increase access for the families. So your, you know, Head Start and Early Head Start programs will join them with the other agencies to create solutions, to create ways, new strategies, innovative ways that benefit all families in the community. Program staff also serve as advocates and educators for and about early childhood issues. They highlight the benefit of quality early childhood education. So those are, in a nutshell, what I wanted to give you those priorities—to keep those priorities in mind because a lot of time we do not do ... We reach out to communities for the needs that we have as a program, but also for ... At different levels.
OK, so when we are doing that engaging, that community engagement process, we are really ... What we are doing is really forming positive, respectful, mutually, beneficial relationships with community partners. And I think, you know, I am going to be just thinking about going with you on a model for community engagement, and we do know that, you know, what we are going to be exploring with you is something that you probably—some of you, or most of you are probably familiar with and, you know, we are looking at developmental continuum of collaboration.
This visual really was adapted from the Quilt Project, but, you know, you've probably seen it in a pyramid. We used to call it the pyramid way. So, we have rearranged it because we would like for you to get another flavor of how we are looking at those—those ways—those ways of engaging with partners can happen. Sometimes you maybe are just—just, you know, just meeting a partner; sometimes you may be in a totally, like in a way of engaging that is not only benefiting you but benefiting others.
So, this is what we're going to be taking you in this afternoon and exploring with you. Brandi, should you, like, you know ... Do you want to jump in with me right now?
Brandi: I do. Do you know, there's never a time where I can stay quiet for too long? [Laughing] I did a good job, right? Like, I was really working hard over here, you know, my whole silence regulation. [Laughing] All right. Well, as Dr. Richard alluded, these concepts, you could ... John, thanks. I mean, that's a virtual high-five, and it's necessary. [Laughing] You guys may have seen us bring to life, this concept in a different visualization, as Dr. Richard alluded. We brought this to you guys, especially when we get to come out in the regions and see you all, we brought it to you in a bit of, like, a pyramid model, and as G said, it really lives in a space that was developed, now if you guys have been along—around as long as some of the rest of us have, you would know this, as she alluded, from the Quilt Project, and it was when Head Start and Child Care came together and really created this space to think about this continuum of collaboration, and what it looks and sounds, like in the way that we apply it.
Now here's, like, my most favorite part—well, one of my most favorite parts—[Laughing] this is fluid, you know, the way that we do what we do with families—follow their lead. You guys tell us all the time: We meet our families literally where they are, and it's the same with our community. Like I said, we're already in a space where we know how to mobilize in ways that support not only where we are as colleagues, but where we are, you know, in our communities with our families, and their littlest ones—our most precious gift. So, what we want to do is unpack each level of this, and I want to just kind of do a little anticipatory guidance [Laughing] with how these things work.
As you can see with the arrows, it's a very fluid process. If you've been with us in any of our conversations, for instance, around implementation science, you know those four stages are messy. That's the way we like to say it; That's my scientific word today. [Laughing] It's messy, and that is exactly how it should be. We have to be able to be nimble. We have to be able to ebb and flow, and this whole continuum—are you guys sitting down, are you ready, are you properly prepared—mirrors very much how we guide alongside family's the involvement to engagement continuum, or the Spectrum, as you've heard just call it before. This is very much like how we do what we do on the micro-level. This is just applied in a bigger, more zoomed-out, macro fashion.
So, we want to pull it apart a little bit, and what we're going to do, is, you know, Dr. Richard and I are going to have a little bit of an "Oprah moment," [Laughing] where we go back and forth and we can talk a little bit about what each of these look like, and actually we are not only going to apply a, you know, universal application of each of these layers if you will, but also we're going to think a little bit about what's happening in the big wide world today so that we can honor, and guys, I have to say this to you, and I meant to say it upfront, but as you saw if you were signed on early my emotions got a little bit of the best of me, but we're trying to strike a balance today, you know, between what's on our mind incessantly about the virus and the opportunity that we have together to mobilize in a way that, you know, really takes a look at the rest of our critical work.
So, you guys keep us honest in the chat, we're really trying to strike a balance between acknowledging what we know is real for everybody in this moment, and also thinking about the general applications of this. So, what we're trying to do together is strike a bit of the that balance, and for each of us as I've been on phone calls around the country, it's really been exciting, and heartening, and humbling to see, you know, how each of us has stepped into this conversation in ways that support our own journeys, you know, through this. So anyways, I wanted to offer a voice right here.
As we look at how we at the National Center on Parent, Family, and Engagement have adapted this continuum to be a little bit more linear but also, you can see it subtly in the background, that dual arrow that shows, you know, that notion of the fluidity and that shows how we can, you know, sort of liaise and link in between each of these. So, let's look together. Dr. Richard, tell us a little bit about networking.
Dr. Richard: So, what we're going to be looking at ... I love the way you really explore this with us, Brandi, and I think, you know, that fluidity and that flexibility that we have, and the fact that we understand that when we are doing those relations, those—when we are doing those community partnerships, that we are where we are—we are where we—we are.
You know, the reason I'm saying that is, sometimes you're feeling like, "Oh my God, I should be going further. I should be there." You need to build. As we are building partnerships with the families, we are building partnerships also with our communities. So, the first one is networking. So, not the first one, but, you know, you may be in a relationship where you are simply networking with the community partner that we have—that you have. And what does that mean? That means, you know, this is that initial meet-and-greet where you are making first contact with another organization and finding out who they are and what they do, and they're finding out the same thing about you.
This information—this information may help you decide if you want to further pursue a potential partnership. This is where you exchange business cards, brochures, email addresses, and etc. Unless, you know, I would like to, you know, bring your [Inaudible] to this. For example, in the time that we're living now, you may be doing a lot of networking, and this is going to bring you something because if, you know, during those hard times, a lot of us probably didn't know, where the next ... I just ...
For example, I just want to tell you, like, you know, in talking to Brandi, she just asked me a question recently. She said, "G, do you have an Aldi?" And I said, "Aldi? I usually don't go there. I usually don't know and because—it's not that it's because it's a bad supermarket or whatever, it's just not a supermarket that I visit.
But, you know, the fact that she brought my attention to it is that, "Oh, OK. [Inaudible] You know like, in a way you can ... This is a comm—this is a—this is a supermarket that a lot of our families may not be going to," and that we may point out to them, and I will say, "OK, where is that Aldi?" Where is that next—instead of the Walmart, where's Aldi? Because guess what? A lot of people we're [Inaudible], you know, going to Walmart, and a lot of people were forgetting about Aldi. Where Aldi had a lot of more—a lot more stuff that Walmart didn't have and people were looking for. So, just sharing information with the community. So, Brandi I'm going to let you talk, then, to us about the second one, the second level, which is now if I'm in coordination.
Brandi: Well "dun-dun-dun-dun," everybody. This is, you know, our little sound effect for the transition.
Let's get over here to the coordination piece, because this is another layer, right? This is when we come together to avoid duplication of efforts or to fill in gaps. Now, if I was giving you an example that we have given and shared with folks, you know, everywhere around the country, one of the examples that comes to mind here is like, for instance, as we mentioned transition to kindergarten earlier, one of the things that we used to do with the program where I had the honor to direct was a single point of entry, and we did this to make sure, for instance, here was where we leaned in to avoid duplication and filling gaps, because in the communities where we served we realized that we were competing for 4 year olds, and we realized that we needed to really refine our collective criteria for all of those of us who provide early childhood care in those communities, and we coordinated ourselves, which was, you know, more than a notion if I'm taking you back to how I would say it at home, [Laughing] it was more than a notion but totally worth it, because once we figured out our collective enrollment criteria, how we would use that criteria to filter to one program or the other, and what that would look like if we really made sure that we were honoring what each of our funding requirements dictated and how we would make sure to share those children and families in a way that, you know, was seamless for the families.
It really changed things in a way that was incredibly powerful, 'cause more children and families were served, we were honoring our funding requirements, again, to avoid duplication and to fill in gaps, and we had a partnership that was strengthened with the school system and others in our communities at that time who were providing early childhood services. So, you guys see where we are.
Now, Dr. Richard was telling us about networking, and that's kind of offering the business card and really checking in on what is current because we know funding cuts happen sometimes, and things that we think we know about our community change and shift when some folks lose services. Thankfully, guys, I mean think about this: we're in a place where you have the opportunity to apply for quality money, and we're going to talk about that in a minute, but put a pin in that because there are some opportunities here in the way that you connect with your community to even build-out, based on the instructions that OHS has given us around serving families who are coming through something, in ways that are meaningful based on what we know as we connect to our communities.
So, here the other thing I would mention, Dr. Richard, before we click over to the next piece that you'll lead us through, is also an example that has come forth in one of the links which is why I spent some time taking you through those weblinks. This comes from the one that's the Child and Adult Care Food Program, or the CACFP. OHS, as I mentioned, released an Information Memorandum this past Friday the 13, and one of the things I loved—I loved about that Information Memorandum, or an IM for short, is that they gave us several ideas about how we could connect with community and services and still getting food to our families in ways that are, you know, not bringing large groups of people together.
So, one of those ideas that would really fit with this coordination piece is, again, we're avoiding duplication, we're filling in gaps, one of the ideas that comes from the IM was that we as Head Start programs could check with local schools, churches, or other community organizations to see if there are partnership opportunities to increase the efficiency of food distribution. So many of you came to us and said, "We're worried. We're worried about our families. They are working.
Now they're ... If our centers are closed, their kids are going to be at home. "Sometimes we worry about them having enough food, you know, to get to." And one of the things OHS gave us in that CACFP IM were different ideas of how to do that, whether we deliver bag lunches on our buses, whether we set-up drive-thru sorts of interactions so families can come through and pick up what they need. We have the power to do that, guys, together. Period. Like, OK. So, I'm getting excited, G. I've got to hush because, you know ... [Laughing] I just believe in what we do so much, so let me hush. Let me take over—it back to you for the cooperation piece of our discussion today.
Dr. Richard: Thanks, Brandi, and actually this—this part, the cooperation, is one—one—another—you know, another way that programs—another way that community partnership can happen between two programs. So, what I want to do is, like, you know, where it says two or more programs conduct joint activity—joint activities, and, you know, they actually they can meet their individual program goal.
So, I'm going to try to explain it to you that way. So, you have a program, [Inaudible] and there's another agency, I'm doing my thing and you're doing yours, but we can do it at the same time. So, by putting our efforts together, we have better use of the resources that both of us have, more exposure, and more efficiency.
For example, let me give you an example. You know, you have parents that are, like, in need of GED classes, so the GED institution, like, going to say, "OK, I have the need. I'm there to serve people that need to take the GED classes, and to pass their GED. And I'm a healthcare program where I have families that need to be getting their GED. So, we can come together and decide that we going to do an on-site GED class, where the families can take their classes while their children are in the Head Start center. So those are kind of, you know, like this is an example, but I would love to take you to an example, like, you know, where actually could support what, you know, the current situation where we are now with COVID-19.
OK, let's look at a program that wants to partner with local food distributors, and when I'm thinking about local food distributors, I'm not only thinking about the market—the supermarket, I'm also thinking about the restaurant. I'm also thinking about like, you know, now restaurants have perishable items, like, you know, the—those markets may have perishable items. They put everybody, you know, in the Head Start program, then come with those vendors—with those food distributors, and they decide together to create, and, you know, we have a drive-thru supermarket for the enrolled families. Like remember, we were talking about getting food for children, and all those things.
So, let's think that, you know, we come with such an idea out of the box. So, guess what's going to happen? The food distributors, they're going to get rid of their perishable items, and they get exposure because, hey, you know, they can [Inaudible] They can say, "OK. [Inaudible] The Head Start distributes food in a safe way that it meets number of people gathering in groups. So if I'm doing a drive-thru the parents are in their car, and then they say, "OK. This is what we're going to need, and, you know, we have it ready for you, and, you know, you come and take it in your car." So there is a lot—there is not a lot of people that are going to be staying in a group.
So ... And actually, when Brandi—Brandi brought us to those links but, you know, language from the CSCFP IM that just can support that reasoning by us thinking, like, when he says to us food could be assembled and families could pick up at a center or other location, care should be taken to avoid large number—large groups and prevent anyone who is sick from coming to collect food. This could include the drive-thru station in areas where families have cars. So you see, that way of thinking, that new—that—that way of thinking out-the-box and thinking, "OK, we going to do ... Both of us are going to do—with two of us are coming together doing the joint activities, but that meets both of our individual goals.
All right. So, Brandi, I'm going to, you know, let you talk about that other level that, you know, that we have, and that is called collaboration.
Brandi: Well, Dr. Richard, I love how you said you're going to let me talk. [Laughing] You know, like I can stay silent much longer. But I—before we do, I've got to go to Jennifer. Jennifer. OK.
So I, you know, I could ask you guys to raise your virtual hands to let us know how many of you who are home, based on your local, you know, nudges/requirements have your own children in your house. Because, Jennifer, you're giving us, you know, not only this creative, innovative ... You guys have iPads, so you can do virtual home visits. "OK, everybody, watch her work, honey." [Laughing] I love this idea, not only because I would love to be, as a parent, a recipient of said thing, but because, look, look what she's saying, for the littlest ones. What a gift to the families who are making videos, who are singing songs, who are reading books. I've actually had, I know Christy, give it up ... Everybody, round of applause for Jennifer and her program. These are the kinds of ideas we hoped you would be stealing from each other.
Katrina, you too. You guys that know me well know I have a 7-year-old son, and he's here with me at least until the end of the month, so he's been doing a whole lot of PSTE [Laughing] while he has been here, but what's wonderful is each of our communities have mobilized not only to continue services to families in a remote kind of way, but to add gifts for and with our families to their children, you know, while they're home, and many of you are doing this through, you know, social media, some of you guys are doing this through your listservs, some of you have classroom connections, you know, that use that creative curriculum, or whatever your choice of curriculum is where you can communicate to parents through that kind of virtual interaction. Kathleen, I love this, you guys are doing FaceTime.
I had one of my colleagues reach out to me earlier this week and say, "Hey,"—she has almost teenagers—and she said, "Hey Brandi, would you like for us to FaceTime Colton, my son, so that they can read him a story, or maybe he could read us a story?" So, I just can't tell you what that means to me as we're mobilizing around the community, that we're staying in touch. We're not seeing this as an opportunity, you know, to not continue moving forward with our heart for service. I mean, we're staying connected with families, we're checking in on them and making sure that everybody's OK.
We're giving them the gifts of ways to connect with their kids in moments where they might not be able to think about that. As G said, we were in a moment this past weekend where a lot of the food in my locality where I live was gone, and we were trying to find our own outside-of-the-box ways to, you know, make those connections from my little family and the two households that I tried to keep together here locally.
So anyway, all of that to say, thank you, Jennifer, and others, who are offering these incredible ideas. Look at this, Kathleen, activity packets so that families can take home, especially, you're saying, for transitional—folks that might be transitioned to kindergarten so they can practice things at home. You have four books, you have [Inaudible] fine motor development, Sharon, I saw this, too, this whole Scholastic thing, with free online resources. Other folks are sending us information about virtual field trips, if you want to Google that, that's another one that is really cool like, when you can actually go to the zoo on a field trip and see what the animals are doing because now they have cameras in all of the habitats.
Right, Kathleen, great minds—great minds think alike.
So anyway, we are going to keep sharing these kinds of things with each other so we can keep together our community both as colleagues, and with and for our families, and in our communities at large, uplift, and encourage, and let each other know that we're not alone. All right, Dr Richard, [Laughing] I know I'm supposed to do this part on collaboration. I love this slide, guys. So listen to what—what we would say normally.
So, you see what's here on the screen—again, these are fluid. These layers and where we pivot with our community colleagues changes based on what we know is happening right now. So, if we were to think about collaboration in a general day, you see that we have ... That we come together to come to work towards common goals that could not be achieved alone. I'm pausing here on purpose. Guys, were not expected to do this by ourselves, and let me just make it a little more underline. Exclamation point. Bold letters.
We can't—we can't do any of this alone. So, when we're thinking about collaboration and we're thinking about how we come together to work toward a common goal that we could not do by ourselves, one of the lots, for example, that we share, that we feel like is completely innovative and super cool, has to do with working with incarcerated family members in prison systems.
So, we've heard from programs around the country where they have gone into a deep partnership with the prison system to continue delivering services for either, you know, recently delivered mamas, sometimes it's, you know, expectant family members who are dads or other important adults in the lives, you know, of the little one, and they're really working with the prison system to deliver home visiting services in jail.
And they're working to make sure, and you guys see this—we couldn't do this alone. We couldn't launch into the prison system without the permissions of the experts that live and work within there. They certainly tell us things like, "Early childhood development is not our foray." We certainly would benefit from, as family members transition back into community, keeping those deep and strong connections and fostering those with their families so when they leave here that they are set up for the success that they deserve.
And this is the other thing, guys, like, we've had family members tell us, "I wasn't judged in these moments. I was a person who was incarcerated and I wasn't proud of the choices that I had made to get me there, and as Head Start you didn't judge. You helped me anyway, you kept me connected with my family, and that was the biggest gift that I've ever had, and that was the biggest gift that I never expected." I mean, guys, this is what you do.
Brandi: Yes, come in KD.
Kiersten: One of my favorite, kind of, quotes that I've heard from came from a correction officer, and he said that Early Head Start had helped him to see the men in the prison that he worked with, to see that they were actually fathers with children. Like, he just hadn't seen them that way at all before, and I think that's really powerful.
Brandi: That's extremely powerful. And I—I think, Kiersten, the way that this keeps coming back to my mind when I hear it in my own brain space is seeing, and appreciating, and honoring the human element in each of us. Like, we're—we're just so complex, and when we stop to take the moments to think in, of course, a way that we engage families and we apply those same kinds of things to engage in community, it just changes things, and we get to see that all the pieces that make us up as people that are very different, and then we get to individualize, you know, based on that. So, I'm grateful, I'm grateful for that as a—as an addition.
And I guess what I would say to you guys, too, here at this moment is—is we also brought forth and idea that, you know, in terms of collaboration that you might consider, as you're thinking about how to really support families as we, you know, consider what's going on with the virus, one of the things that I alluded to before was the quality funding. Now, one of the things that I'm looking at here ... If you haven't, and maybe we can do this ... Oh, I forgot to tell you guys, the PowerPoint you were asking—you asked and you shall receive, everybody.
The PowerPoint is over in the weblink's pod for you to download.
So, if you want to click on "PowerPoint Handout," it will take you to a drop box where you can go over and get it thanks to our friend, colleague, and the genius of Jackie Muniz. So, that's over there. Many of you were asking, so we wanted to just let you know that it's there. But that other thing I want to do is maybe bring over the weblink to the quality funding that you guys are going to be able to look at and think about together, and one of the pieces that I was reminded of is many of the communities where we've been pre-virus but especially post-virus, have been really thinking about how to provide telehealth services. So, this would be like virtual services for like both health and mental health.
Like, we got this note from our pediatrician saying if you guys need to come in and you don't want to sit in the lobby because you're worried, we'll take your cell phone and I'll text you. Or, now we go to more recent piece of information, and I live in the country, so you guys know, I mean that said, "We are now set up to do video conferencing for telehealth for your children." So, we're getting some of these updates as we go, but guess what, guys? At Head Start, we can help to facilitate this in our own community. We're figuring out ways to connect with our medical providers, and specifically for all of the things that we've talked about so far—our mental health providers to offer teleconnections or telehealth opportunities.
I mean, if you looked at the quality money that you guys have the opportunity to apply for and really make the case from your community assessment, like what you need and what would be beneficial, there's a whole statement in there that speaks to community and connections to community. Specifically, in service of children and families that may be experiencing things, like some of those prioritized populations we put on top of the webinar: immigrant families, refugee families, families experiencing homelessness, maybe children in foster care, limited English proficient children and families, migrant and seasonal farmworker families, families in crisis. There are many ways that you can bring this in to not only strengthen how you're doing what you're doing in your program, maybe offer families a service that is, again, our word of the day, a little outside of the box.
And also, you know, create an infrastructure that you guys are building. Again, as the bedrock of who we are in Head Start together. OK, G, how’d I do? [Laughing]
Dr. Richard: You did awesome. So, we're going to ... Do you want us to move forward? Because, you know, I would love to be able to.
Brandi: Well, G, let's break it down like me and you would if we were sitting here in the same room. Everybody. [Laughing] To get to the "unity" in community. Can I get a witness? [Laughing] This is what we've got to do. We have this overarching idea of, OK, we've gone through these layers, these levels, the fluidity, the front, the back, the dual, you know, ... Thank you, everybody, a little whoot happening. [Laughing] We have this frame to organize how we can be nimble through and with our community partnerships, and here's what we're always driving toward.
When you think about engagement, and we think about engaging families, we get to the place where we do with. If we're involving, we do for, and if a family is in crisis, we ought to be doing for. But what we're always driving toward, as Dr. Richard kicked us off with the framework, is engagement where families are ready to take the lead, and where families step into their own space, you know, again, with their readiness in mind. So, as we're thinking about the unity in community, like what we're always thinking about are some of these four pieces that you're going to see on top of the screen here—and, Dr. Richard, please jump in—you're going to see things that look familiar to you.
Things like reciprocal, you know, this back-and-forth notion of "I've got you, you've got me." Words that, I'm going to skip over, like social capital for just a second, words that you'll know that we bring to you all the time, what we call SICP sometimes: Systemic Integrated Comprehensive Processes. To us that just means woven in, throughout, embedded, diagonal, straight, up, down, you know, throughout all of your programmatic systems. And then, of course, we know about our community outcomes pieces. You guys write to this in your five-year project period. So, these things aren't lost on us.
These are a proper part of the fiber of how we're built, with the Performance Standards, and how we've lived for over 50 years. Well, here's the thing that I'm excited about with the "unity" in community, Dr. Richard. When we get to increase social capital, that really illustrates concepts like, if my son's walking down the road when he, let's say, gets off the bus, and my neighbor is watching him out the window—she knows his name, she knows our name—and she's watching to make sure he gets in that front door safe.
That's social capital. Now, it looks different in each of the places where we live, in our communities, and there are different ways that social capital can manifest itself, but the thing that I get so excited about is that people benefit from our services in Head Start and Early Head Start, who have never walked into our building. Hello with the whoots.
You know. Right, Dr. Richard? I mean, you guys do this every day. So, the little lady who received some of our elderly services, perhaps like Meals on Wheels. If you're like me you grew up in a Community Action Agency, and you offer many services to children and families all around the, you know, lifespan. Thanks for the whoots and the whoots. [Laughing] This is what happens.
She's afraid to come out of her house to meet the driver on her porch because her neighborhood doesn't feel safe, but what we've done is we've surveyed our families, and we've found that we need a site right there in her neighborhood. We end up putting the playground on her corner where we have to put in street lights. We increased police presence, we clean up the corner, we have, you know, more—we beautify the space and we make it safe for our kids, families, and colleagues, and then all of a sudden she's coming out on her front porch and sitting down, and not only meeting the driver on her porch, but sitting to have a conversation. Now that's somebody who has benefited from the "unity" in the "community" that we've built who never walked into our front door. Guys, whoa. It's like ... OK, G. Reel me in, reel me in.
Dr. Richard: All right, and I really appreciate the fact that you—you brought us this example, Brandi, to show that when we started the conversation, we're looking at also—we're looking at outcome for the family, outcome for the children, the outcome for the entire community, when other people would have not been able to do something now because of the collaboration, because of those cooporations networking—all those things that we are doing, and now, when we bring the unity, when we are looking at beyond, you know, outcome for families and for children, we see that, because we know that—one thing that we know everybody's going to benefit.
For example, when you look at, when you engage in the community, there are benefits for the children and the families. You have increased access, you have reduced confusion, create learning environments, increased community safety and responsiveness. So, all those things are very important when it comes to the children and families. But they're also ... When you look at community engagement, there are also benefits for us as staff.
Working for the program those benefits for example, we're all called to do, as a program, a community assessment. So this can assist us in doing our community assessment. That could help us better manage the resources that we have. Enhance our program planning. What do we need to do for those families and children and these communities, and what do we need to do? Renewing of staff.
Also acquiring new viewpoints. Reducing risks and contributing to the community, because as Head Start, when we're in that community, we're not only looking at, you know, enhancing the growth and development of the children and the families, but we also want a community that is flourishing. So all those benefits are among us, not only for the people we serve, but also for us as staff.
And last but not least, you know, the benefits of community engagement for community, when we get into the "unity," is that creating community solutions. Look at what is happening right now, so communities are coming with ways to address—to address the crisis, but it may not be a crisis; it may be something that we needed to do all along. Less duplication of efforts, more efficiency, extending benefits to other families and strengthening the community.
That's where myself, I feel proud about the work that community engagement can help us do. You strengthen the community by making sure that they all can—that everybody comes together in a unified way. I think now ... Guess what? Now that you have been experts on all the things that we have been talking, we got a—we got a pop quiz for you. Thank you, Nina. Nina is going to take us to our pop quiz, and definitely you need ... You can provide your answer in that box that we see in the bottom and, you know, those questions are there. You're going to match your number with your letter.
So, you're going to look at the first thing you're going to tell us, based on what you know. Look at you, you're already not even letting me finish my sentence, but, you know, everybody's already doing [Inaudible] so I'm giving you the time to do it, so go for it, and after that we'll go over, you know, the answers with you. What do we say? There's no bad answers by—by any means, all right? So even if you don't think the same way we think, you're probably still good.
Brandi: So I see, G, some early out-of-the gate business here with 1D, and you guys are seeing how this works. 1D. Program agency, program A, and agency B work together to support children with disabilities. So you're pairing the number "one" with the letter "D." Oh, I see some other thoughts in here. Dr. Richard, what do you think?
Dr. Richard: I see like [Inaudible]—like the D's are—the D is winning. But my ... You said B, and you know, I think coordinating. So if we were to, and Brandi help me here, because if we were to bring the ... Oh, boy, somebody said I'm not going to-- I'm going to just go there. I'm going to just put on my ...
Brandi: All right, Alex. [Laughing]
Dr. Richard: All right, Stacy. All right, talking to myself. So, I'm looking at this where I ... Program A and agency B work together to support children with disabilities. So, it's like [Inaudible] what we do—what we do. So if ... Could I do it alone? Is that ... Where—where do we think, like, you know,
you said D: collaborating. Collaborating is a piece—is a piece where we come together for something we could have not been—we could not have—have done alone. Is that ... Would you consider A with me? So like, you know, for one—like, you know, one is C. Would you consider?
Brandi: Oh, I see what you're doing, G. Yeah. So if you're looking at that same example about No. 1, program A and agency B work together to support children with disabilities, you're pushing the envelope to see if you think C would fit, because B was the one that we couldn't do it alone, but C with the cooperation, or cooperating was the one that was where we come together to meet the same goals. Am I remembering it right? We have activities to meet those individual goals?
Dr. Richard: Yes, because, you know, you—you as a program, you serve students with disabilities and, you know, there is an [Inaudible] that is serving the children with disabilities, so are you coming together now to do something that, you know, you could both—you could do together instead of [Inaudible]. So, I am not going to knock the collaboration down, but I'm going to also fight very hard for the C.
Brandi: Well, you know, Dr. Richard, one of the things that we try to do at the National Center is, of course, make our web interactions fun and exactly that—interactive, but we also hope to offer some of these ideas for you to steal, [Laughing] when you go back to your program and you're thinking about, you know, what you heard and what you want to apply, what's confirmation, like, what's new and exciting that you might want to tinker with based on where you are.
So, we offer this in that vein because, you know, we uploaded over ... What we can do, also, is if you guys want to use this as like an activity that you're doing even with this virtual interaction, you have a set up now that would allow you to do that if you'd like it to be shared with colleagues. So, you have the PowerPoint over there on the left-hand side in weblinks. We have this slide as part of it so that you can, you know, kind of, make connections, too. For instance, like ... Where's the one ... Oh. Staff share flyers with a new laundromat store to share information about families.
Dr. Richard: ... everyone got it, including us. So you know, I ... [Laughing] Like you know, I don't have to go in any controversy with anything here, you know, staff share flyers with this laundromat store to share information about the families. Yes, to see if they could get the ... Actually, like networking. But remember, there is potential for more things to happen between the two.
Brandi: And this is the beauty of the conversation. So, if this is something you feel like you guys could use and take into your program, even if you're meeting virtually, the richness and the beauty of the activity is really the dialogue, you know, for you to just be inspired to think about the fluidity that we know exists, and what we offered with these layers, and how you're thinking always about the "unity" in community, and the ways that your meeting, you know, with these sort of, you know, nimble opportunities in your program and how you do what you do.
So guys, I can't believe it. As predicted the 90 minutes flew, like a crazy business. [Laughing] So we want to offer you a couple of things here. Don't forget, we're going to hang out, so if you have the time, please stay with us because we're going to stay for at least 15 more minutes and answer questions, talk together, continue the dialogue. But we want to leave you with these takeaways before I turn it over to Dr. Ernestine Brown, which many of you know from MyPeers fame. So, if you're part of MyPeers community, you would know her from there and so many places as we go on the road. But also, she's going to tell you a little bit about how that we can, you know, stay connected to each other after this. But before we do, I want to just offer a few of these few takeaways.
Community engagement: It requires some work, and you guys saw a little bit of what we offered before. The shared vision, commitment, and intentional planning. I would humbly add to this that we have to give ourselves permission to stay in this place of planning and stay in this place of connection to each other. Long- and short-term investments this way are completely worth it, and we're hearing that from you right now, even in this time of uncertainty. The relationships that you've already built, the relationship that you're continuing to build and strengthen are paying off in dividends right now.
And you guys are showing the country—you are showing the country how it's done right now, and I—I can't say much more because I'll get emotional again, [Laughing] so let me look at the third bullet. That, of course, there's a flexibility that's necessary here. We've used words like fluid, we've used words like messy to be able to do this in a way that's real and genuine. It has to be a flexible process. And I love this part that mirrors how we do what we do with and for our families. So, with those takeaways, let me pause here and take my own kind of deep breath, inspired by Kiersten, and let you know, again, when we're coming back together. Don't forget, mark your calendars, everybody. April 14, same bat time, same bat channel [Laughing]
3 to 4:30 Eastern, with a little after chat. That's, you know, one of the things we love the most. And of course, June 2, as well. And with that, I am going to take that promised breath, and turn it over to Dr. Brown to tell you a little bit about how to stay connected.
Dr. Ernestine Brown: Thanks, Brandi, and this has just been so wonderful. We hope that you will continue the conversation with us for the next 15 minutes, if you're able to. If not, we hope that you'll continue the conversation on MyPeers. And we do have a PFCE, Deepening Practice Community, which really is a way for you to continue the conversation with one another virtually, so we'll be able to talk about some of these issues, share resources, ask questions. If you are not a member of MyPeers already, it's very easy to join. You just go on ECLKC, or the Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Center, some people like to say, and it's at the bottom of the page, and it's very simple: You just click on—you just click on it and it will allow you to set up an account. You create an account, you fill out the form, and then, in a few days you'll receive an email with the MangoApps information. After you do that, you'll be able to join the general community, and then just look for our community which is PFCE Deepening Practice, where we can continue the conversation. Another platform that we hope that you might be able to continue the conversation with us is with our Text4Families, and, you know, it's going to show you our little image for that, as well. So, it's very easy to sign up; you text PFCE to 22660, and again that's 22660. You just text PFCE. It's also available in Spanish, and so you'll receive two family engagement texts per month and on everything connected to PFCE, some of our upcoming events, some professional development opportunities, and you'll also have access to our new resources as soon as they are released. And again, it's also available in Spanish. So as Brandi said, the speakers, the presenters are going to stay on for an additional 15 minutes, and we hope that we can answer any additional questions and just continue the great conversation that we started together today. Thank you. Brandi, turning it over back to you.
Brandi: Thank you, Dr. Brown. So you guys see, I mean we're going to stay connected no matter what, and there are few ways to do that. So of course, she mentioned the Text4Families which we are going to put back on the screen here for a little bit, so in case you didn't catch it, you'll have that there. It's one of our newer services. Of course, many of you are MyPeers experts by now; you belong to many communities that are over there, and one of the ones Your peers are who are doing the good, hard work that of course is our favorite, [Laughing] is the PFCE Deepening Practice one that Dr. Brown leads.
Come on over. We would love to have you in that space because there is so much good sharing. I've seen so many questions that folks have been asking together, about what you guys are doing right now, what are you doing with your families? How are you setting up services? Like, this is like the MyPeers ... I want to go back one more slide and I'll put it back up to the picture families. The MyPeers community has been so important, you know, for you guys to share exactly that. in the programs right now. So, come on over, we'd love to have you. And I think in today's day and time with a lot of the things that you've brought up, and that we tried to give voice to today is even more critical now to share what's happening in real-time over there. And then of course, the Text4Families, which we've gotten a lot of good feedback on, also. You just get a little nudge in your text messages which, who doesn't love a text message? [Laughing] That gives, you know, "Hey, what are you thinking about PFCE today?" Or here's a little thing we that hope you will enjoy.
So, if you're open to having those come to you, sign up. We'd love to have you. With that, thank you so much, not only for being here, but for everything that you're doing in your program for and with the families in your communities.
We cannot wait to see you again in April, but again, if you need anything in the meantime, please join us in the MyPeers community and we'll do our very best to continue the idea above [Inaudible] Enjoy the rest of your day. Stay safe, stay well, and stay connected.
Have a good afternoon, everybody.Close
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