Family & Community Engagement

Building Relationships with Families

Cross-Sector Themes in Family Engagement (pdf) - In an effort to identify common themes in family engagement principles that cut across various systems and agencies, Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners (WECCP) evaluated family engagement principles and guidance across multiple national and state agencies that provide services to young children and families. Cultural responsiveness is at the core of family engagement and should be evident and present in each of the 6 identified themes presented in this document. This document is intended to highlight a common understanding of what family engagement is and how we communicate it.

Head Start Family Engagement Resources (webpage) - Head Start’s Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) contains numerous resources to support effective family engagement. Resources can be filtered by subject matter, format, and audience. 

NAEYC’s Family Engagement Resource Page (webpage) -  Explore family engagement principles in action, make connections to your practice and find resources for families. NAEYC, in partnership with Pre-K Now, also conducted an extensive review of the research on family engagement and identified six Principles of Family Engagement that encompass successful family engagement practices. 

Wisconsin's Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Family, Youth and Community Engagement (webpage) - Family, Youth, and Community Engagement is about making Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programming stronger. FYCE aims to strengthen programming by responding to participants’ experiences. Here you can access the Community Engagement Assessment Tool, learn how to develop an action plan focusing on one of the 14 indicators and explore community engagement resources. 

YoungStar Resources for Parents (webpage) - YoungStar, Wisconsin’s child care quality rating and improvement system within the Department of Children and Families, contains many helpful resources for families including information regarding early childhood education, nutrition, healthy brain development, and family engagement. 

Building a Common Understanding of Family Engagement (webpage) - The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction provides communication tools to build a common understanding around family engagement. Here you can also access the Dual Capacity Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships which helps schools move from a "parent involvement" model to authentic family engagement that is inclusive and responsive. Also included are resource pages for educators and families.

WSPEI: Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative (website) - WSPEI is all about partnerships, helping families and school districts to find the resources that will help them build positive working relationships leading to shared decision-making and positive outcomes for children’s learning. 

Family Resource Centers (webpage) - Wisconsin’s Family Resource Centers provide services and support that strengthen families. The FRCs across Wisconsin are community-based agencies, providing a unique combination of programs and services tailored to the needs within their local community. FRCs provide parents and caregivers with parent education, tools, and strategies to support healthy child development as well as connection to community resources. The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board has more information on how to find your local FRC and learn more about FRCs

Supporting Families Together Association (website) - SFTA is Wisconsin’s statewide member network for Wisconsin’s Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) and Family Resource Centers (FRCs). Our member agencies provide quality early childhood services and support to families and childcare providers in their local communities. Find your local Family Resource Center and Child Care Resource & Referral Agency and get connected to local resources and support.

ABCs of Family Engagement (pdf) - This guide from WIDA presents six key considerations for strengthening family engagement practices and building relationships with families.

National Family Support Network (website) - The National Family Support Network is the United States’ coordinating body for Family Resource Center Networks.  Here you can find many resources promoting best practices in family support services. 

Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes (pdf) - This bulletin for professionals provides an overview of the foundational elements of the family engagement approach, followed by strategies and promising practices for implementing it. More information can be found at Child Welfare Information Gateway.  


Updated 5/15/2023

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