Family Services Approach


The premise of our family engagement model is simple: well-informed, well-supported parents and families are essential partners in our work to close the achievement gap. Savvy Head Start leaders understand that without the help and active partnership of the families that they serve, they cannot ensure that each child who completes their program will be well-prepared to succeed in school and life.

At our partner Acelero Learning programs, we focus on: informing families about the Achievement Gap and empowering them with practical knowledge on what they can do about it; understanding each family’s strengths and needs for support with a well-structured and detailed Family Strengths Assessment; partnering with families by setting goals around Family Life Practices that will be key to tipping the odds in their child’s favor; and coaching and evaluating our Family Advocates and other family service team members over the course of the year with detailed Family Advocate Success Rubrics. Our robust set of Family Services-focused tools include: 

  • Achievement Gap Brochure & Workshop Package
  • Family Strengths Assessment survey
  • Family Goal-Setting templates (60+ goal sheets in English and Spanish, plus blank templates)
  • Family Handbooks (HS and EHS)
  • Family and Community Partnerships Training Workshop materials, #1-5
  • Parent-Child Activity calendars
  • ERSEA tools and resources
  • Health, nutrition, and other comprehensive services resources
  • . . . and much more.

The Achievement Gap


Whether you call it the Achievement Gap, the Opportunity Gap, or the Exposure Gap, the fact remains that low-income children consistently start school considerably less prepared than their middle-income peers. We believe that every child can succeed at the highest levels and that the key to making that happen is to ensure that parents and families are fully informed about this gap and how they can partner with your program to close it. 
In the Shine Early Learning approach, we inform families about the basic research around the Achievement Gap and zero-in on four Family Life Practices that the best research tells us will help their children prepare and succeed. Start this conversation today with families in your program! Our resources include:

  • Achievement Gap Brochure & Workshop Package (multiple workshops)
  • Achievement Gap booklets in English and Spanish
  • Family & Community Partnership training materials: contracting with parents to close the Achievement Gap
  • Family Goal-Setting templates around key Family Life Practices
  • Full supporting materials to help your family services teams implement effective workshops on the Achievement Gap and Family Life Practices.

Promoting Family Life Practices to Close the Achievement Gap

Focuses on the why and how of using research on the Achievement Gap to inspire parents and focus Family Services work on promoting family life practices that research suggests will help close this gap.

Family Strengths and Goals


Head Start has a remarkably broad charge under the Performance Standards, and our comprehensive services model emphasizes unique support for each family that we serve. How can we form a consistent and compelling model to emphasize positive outcomes for all families served by the Head Start program?
We focus on understanding each family’s strengths and needs for support with a well-structured and detailed Family Strengths Assessment; and work on partnering with families by setting goals around Family Life Practices that will be key to tipping the odds in their child’s favor. We have developed templates for over 60 family goals which cover the vast majority of all areas where Head Start programs sets goals with families on family partnership agreements. Each goal has established benchmarks for attainment – indicating what precisely constitutes major, moderate, some or none. By providing families a common framework for goal attainment, we have been able to clearly measure family progress toward accomplishing their goals.  Resources include:

  • Achievement Gap Brochure & Workshop Package (multiple workshops)
  • Full supporting materials to help your family services teams implement effective workshops on the achievement gap and family life practices.
  • The Family Strengths Assessment: A comprehensive survey designed to be given in 4 parts to families as they enter a Head Start or Early Head Start program. Available in English and Spanish.
  • Family Self-Assessment survey
  • Family Goal-Setting templates around key Family Life Practices.

Outcomes-Based Family Assessment and Goal-Setting

The "whys" and "hows" of using tiered Family Strengths Assessment to identify high-need families, and how to use that information to establish outcomes-focused goals with families.

Professional Development Resources


Every day, front-line family engagement staff have the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of children and families through ongoing communication,  referrals, and building trusting relationships with families. These professionals are essential to program success, but structured professional development for family services staff is surprisingly rare in the Head Start world. Family service workers are simply too important to go without support. 
Shine Early Learning has developed tools and resources to support the coaching of Family Advocates and other family service team members, along with tools to evaluate performance over the course of the year with a detailed Family Advocate Success Rubric. Sample resources include:

  • The Family Advocate Success Rubric
  • Family Partnerships Supervision & Monitoring Tool
  • Family Services Supervision Agenda

The Family Advocate Success Rubric

Competency-based framework for Family Advocate professional development and performance appraisal, and how it links to the new competency-based staff framework released by the Office of Head Start.

Making the PFCE Framework Real in Your Program

A more concrete look at how to think about the PFCE Framework--and how to use it to build a more intentional and outcomes-based focus in Family Services.

 

Interested in full implementation of our family services model? Shine Assist offers hand-in-glove support to a select number of programs in their pursuit of quality and excellence. Email info@shineearly.com for more information or to learn about becoming a partner.