Building a Family Engagement Culture

In a “From Principles to Practice” Learning Brief, entitled “Building a Family Engagement Culture,” the authors addressed two questions:

  • What does authentic family engagement look like? and
  • How can we “engage diverse families in responsive and culturally relevant ways”?

In order to answer these questions, local advocates in L.A. County “developed a shared definition of family engagement” and outlined five guiding principles to “build upon the work of national advocates and stress the need to embed practices across the systems and settings that serve families with young children.”

The five guiding principles are as follows:

  1. Foster mutual respect, trusting relationships, and shared responsibility and leadership;
  2. Engaging families where they are;
  3. Respect, value, and be responsive to cultural and linguistic assets;
  4. Support strong social networks and connections; and
  5. Foster an integrated and family-centered systems approach.

Learn more about family engagement and the guiding principles by reading the article here. Then leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, click here.

This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK1: The dynamics of family systems including cultural, linguistic and socio-economic factors influencing family function and care for all children.
    • CK3: The prenatal care, delivery and postnatal care of the infant, including variations across families, cultural and ethnic groups.
  • Identification and Referral (IR):
    • IR2 (EIS): Knows formal and informal screening tools and procedures that are play-based and culturally and linguistically appropriate (including the use of observation and documentation).
  • Evaluation and Assessment (EA):
    • EA6 (EIS): Knows assessment strategies for families who represent diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-i):
    • IFSP-i5 (EIS): Understands issues related to English language learning and maintenance of home language.
    • IFSP-i12 (EIS): Knows that cultural beliefs and practices of parents and professionals affect early intervention service delivery.
    • IFSP-i13 (EIS): Understands the importance of bilingual/bicultural staff members, service providers and community resources and their role on the team.
    • IFSP-i14 (EIS): Understands the appropriate use of interpreters and translators, including use of written materials in primary language.
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