As you take steps to enhance the level of family engagement in your program, you may benefit from exploring the relationship based competencies identified by Head Start. Similar to the self-assessment designed for teachers, the Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies Professional Development Assessment for Supervisors Who Work with Families contains a list of knowledge, skills and actions for supervisors, including:
- POSITIVE, GOAL-ORIENTED RELATIONSHIPS
- Demonstrates the ability to support and model ethical practice when interacting with staff and families.
- Helps staff develop meaningful goals that draw on families’ aspirations for themselves and their children.
- SELF AWARE AND CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
- Understands the importance of self-care and educates staff on the connection between self-care and the ability to build successful relationships with families and colleagues.
- Works with program management to assure that language and culture are respected, materials provided to families are culturally and linguistically appropriate, and training to increase cultural responsiveness is provided for staff.
- FAMILY WELL-BEING AND FAMILIES AS LEARNERS
- Demonstrates skills that prevent and resolve conflict amongst staff and/or staff and families.
- Uses research and family well-being data to drive reflective discussions with staff and discuss alternative courses of action.
- PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILIES AS LIFELONG EDUCATORS
- Acknowledges that families are vital to children’s learning and development, and educates staff on school readiness and the important role families play in achieving this.
- Works with program management to ensure that families have access to information about their child and that the information is understandable and meaningful.
- FAMILY CONNECTIONS TO PEERS AND COMMUNITY
- Is knowledgeable and ensures that staff are familiar with resources and opportunities available in the community for both staff and families.
- Participates in the development of systems of communication which ensure staff are aware of community groups, learning, and volunteer opportunities for families.
- FAMILY ACCESS TO COMMUNITY RESOURCES
- Demonstrates leadership and advocacy, particularly as it relates to ensuring that community resources are aligned and available to meet the needs of families.
- Builds and maintains internal and external professional relationships with community, state, or national groups that will support staff work with families.
- COORDINATED, INTEGRATED, AND COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES
- Has the ability to create a positive organizational culture and climate and engage in effective group processes and dynamics.
- Has the ability to safeguard practices that protect the privacy and confidentiality of families, enabling colleagues to share only pertinent information to enhance services to families.
- DATA DRIVEN SERVICES AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
- Helps staff gain knowledge about current research-based practices and integrate those practices into their work as appropriate.
- Consults with parents and program management on the effectiveness of policy councils and parent committees.
- FOUNDATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
- Commits to professional development by setting goals to improve knowledge and understanding of supervision practices.
- Works on individualized professional development plans and links staff members’ professional goals with related training or educational experiences.
The tool allows you to rate your ability to build relationships with staff and families and support staff as they work with families. Once you have reflected on the skills included in the assessment, you will have a clearer picture of the professional development path that you need to pursue to build these integral skills.
You can access the full version of the self-assessment document here.
For the main article on Planning for Family Engagement, CLICK HERE.
For the article on Why Focus on Family Engagement, CLICK HERE.
For the article on Goals of Family Engagement Initiatives, CLICK HERE.
For the article on Family Engagement Reflection Tool for Staff, CLICK HERE.