Family Engagement Framework

Family Engagement Framework


(MUSIC)>>:Back in 2008 when the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act came out,
there was money for early learning councils. And
Maryland made family engagement a big part of the
early learning councils. So this is a state that really
has prioritized family engagement with all the
funding sources that it’s been able to get. This is something
that’s now organized through a family engagement framework
with very specific goals and strategies. And now moving
forward, we’re going to see a state that’s going to be
implementing that framework.>>:That’s something that our
district has been looking to develop for itself. But now we
see that MSDE has already created that tool that we can
simply tap into.>>:For the framework, there’s
a number of different pieces to it. The main part of it is
the goals that the state is trying to achieve through
family engagement, everything from creating stronger
parent-child relationships to helping parents support
children as their first teacher to creating parents as
stronger advocates for their children’s education.>>:I think family engagement
was something that I didn’t really grow up with,
especially in my early school years. So I think that putting
it towards my kids and getting them school ready – I think
that’s something I really gained and value.>>:I think we need to see more
of that collaboration if we truly want to get families
involved because to a family, to a parent, they don’t care
what agency you’re with, whether you’re with Johns
Hopkins, whether you’re with a school district, whether
you’re with this division or that division. They just want
everyone to be on board to help their child maximize
their success and growth.>>:Part of what Maryland wants
to do now that they have the framework in place, the
strategies in place, is to see how well it’s working. How do
you take all of the great work that’s happening at the
federal level and national organizations within the
Department of Health and Human Services and somehow
accumulating it and pushing it out to practitioners and
parents in a way that will help them. We have this great
kindergarten entry assessment in Maryland we can be using to
see how outcomes are improving as a result of these new
initiatives.>>:We are always looking for
opportunities to bring our families together to work to
make sure we’re meeting all of their needs. Our motto is we
meet our families where they are with no judgments. So we
want to educate our families about the resources, but we
also want to give them tools that they need in order to be
successful, in order to be self-sufficient.>>:Female Engagement is not
easy. I think one of the big issues is how do you use
technology to overcome a lot of these barriers? Parents are
very busy. There are communication issues, language
barriers. And, you know, we’re going to start using
technology both to push messaging – messages out to
families where they don’t have to physically be at the
program and also to help translate different messages
that the practitioners might need to get out to families.
So there’s a lot of opportunity for that, and
that’s a big part of the next step of the evolution of
Maryland’s family engagement. (MUSIC)

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