PARENT, FAMILY, AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Family and...¢ 2018-06-05¢ 3...
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PARENT, FAMILY, AND
PARENT, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN HEAD START AND
EARLY HEAD START
Table of Contents
Key Competencies 5
General Guidance for All Staff 5
Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect 5
Personal Loans 5
Subpoenas and Court Appearances 6
Death of an Immediate Family Member or of an Enrolled Child 6
Family Literacy 7
Head Start Family Service Staff Responsibilities 8
Addressing Attendance Concerns 8
Health Requirements 8
Childcare and Subsidy 9
Home Visits – Home Based Head Start 9
Home Visits – Center Based Head Start 9
Family Outcomes and Support Planning Instrument (FOSPI)
Family Partnership Agreements 10
When a Parent Opts Out of the FPA Process 11
Goal Setting 11
Transitions from Early Head Start 11
Transitions between Programs 12
Transitions to Kindergarten 12
Family Services Events 12
End of Year Celebrations 15
Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) 15
Head Start Policy Council (HSPC) 15
HSPC Emergency Fund 16
PAC By-Laws 17
HSPC By-Laws 20
Professional Documentation 27
Family Service Program Information Report (PIR) Questions 28
Community Partnerships 30
Parent, family, and community engagement in Head Start/Early Head Start is guided by several
Performance Standards, including: 1302.50-1302.53 Family and Community Engagement Program
Services, 1301 Program Governance, and 1302.100-1302.103 Program Management and Quality
Improvement. Additionally, Performance Standards 1302.34, 1302.41, and 1302.46 relay the necessity of
engaging parents around the health, development, and education of their child.
Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) works towards a goal that every child is ready for school and
sustains learning gains through the third grade. In order to effectively do so, Reach Dane recognizes the
importance of recognizing the parent’s role as their child’s first and best teacher. Successful parent
engagement impacts every aspect of Agency programming, influences the work of other anti-poverty
programs, and brings about changes in the communities in which our families live.
In 2011, the Office of Head Start introduced the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE)
Framework as a road map for integrating family engagement throughout the whole Agency. Reach Dane
has wholeheartedly embraced the PFCE Framework as a guide for the work we do to engage families and
ensure that children have successful learning experiences.
At Reach Dane, family engagement is the responsibility of every member of the organization. Each
person, within their role, has the capacity to influence and support the growth and development of
children and families. Staff who provide direct services to parents are in the unique position to help
families develop and achieve goals for themselves and their families.
It is expected that all staff members recognize, support, and celebrate the dignity and worth of each
individual we serve. Families are offered an array of services and support that best meet the needs of
their individual situation. Families are encouraged to be active participants in their child’s education
through home visits, volunteering in the classroom, and working with their child individually at home.
Additionally, parents are encouraged to act as leaders on the local level through their Parent Advisory
Committee (PAC) or at the agency level through the Head Start Policy Council (HSPC).
Parent participation is NOT a mandatory condition of a child’s enrollment in Head Start. While staff
should continue to offer support, services, and resources to all families, they must be cognizant that not all
families are in place to access them. Every child, regardless of parent participation, can benefit from the
positive classroom environment that is offered.
It is also important for staff to understand that lasting change can only occur within the context of a
relationship. By building strong, positive, and goal-oriented relationships with families, direct service
staff have the opportunity to foster positive outcomes for parents and their children.
The Family Services department focuses on achieving the following goals with all families:
1. Partner with families to develop Family Partnership Agreements that identify strengths, resources
and needs in order to form meaningful family goals
2. Identify, partner, and collaborate with community organizations that offer services that will
enhance family well-being and self-sufficiency
3. Ensure that families are aware of and able to access community resources
4. Assist families in transitioning between EHS and HS and from HS to kindergarten to ensure that
learning gains are maintained
5. Support families to meet required health screenings and follow-ups so children are healthy and
available for learning
6. Provide opportunities for parents to connect with their peers and build a sense of community
among program participants
Additionally, family services staff play a key role in recruitment activities to ensure that all eligible
families are aware of, and able to engage in, our services.
All Reach Dane staff members, particularly those who have specific family services responsibilities, are
expected to demonstrate the following competencies in their interactions with families:
1. Empathy – listen and communicate accurately and with sensitivity to the feelings and experiences
of the other person. Parents are more likely to consider other options when they feel their
experience is viewed as equal and valid.
2. Authenticity – be yourself. While it’s important for each member of the staff to have boundaries,
it is equally important to share your unique gifts, talents, and experiences with families.
3. Acceptance – recognize that each person has their own values and priorities, even when they
differ from your own values or priorities.
4. Objective – when relaying information about a child or family it is important to do so without
personal feelings, opinions, or biases.
5. Specific- work with families to identify goals and develop clear, concrete steps for achieving
6. Competent – don’t be afraid to ask for help from your supervisors and colleagues. Asking for
help can be a positive role modelling experience for families and is a sign of strength.
7. Reflective – think about the work that you do and how you might be more effective.
8. Empowering – recognize the family’s role as a senior partner in setting priorities. You are there
to support and advise as needed.
General Guidance for All Staff
Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect
All Reach Dane employees are mandated to report any suspicions of abuse or neglect of a child in
accordance with Reach Dane policies and Wisconsin State Law. Following a report to Human Services,
families may need additional assistance or support from agency staff. For further guidance, please see the
Child Abuse and Neglect policy (located in the Child Development section of this book) or contact the
Mental Health Manager.
The families we serve are living in poverty and can face a financial crisis at any time. Staff may not
give money to a parent/family at any time regardless of the circumstance or level of need. In these
situations staff should work with families to identify community resources that might be available.
Additionally, the HSPC has created an emergency fund to address these types of issues that staff may
access on behalf of a family. Please see the Emergency Fund Policy later in this section for further
Staff should be cautious when asked for a letter of reference and should consider whether they can offer a
knowledgeable or fair reference. If you feel that writing a letter on behalf of a parent would be
appropriate, discuss the request with your supervisor. In general, staff should not provide employment
references. Exceptions may be made in consultation with the FE Managers. Any letters sent on behalf of
a family should be approved by your supervisor prior to sending. A copy should be placed in the child’s
Subpoenas and Court Appearances
Reach Dane will comply with all city, county, state, and federal laws. Therefore, in accordance with
these laws, the agency will cooperate with and adhere to all subpoenas s