Lifting Up Diverse Family Voices in Head Start Programs
In Head Start programs, parent, family, and community engagement (PFCE) strategies are systemic, integrated, and comprehensive, and “family engagement is everyone’s business.” In order to engage with families effectively, each program must establish strong foundations and empower all staff to aid in a shared mission.
Through the organizational culture and systems, all staff should be empowered with the fundamentals to engage in reflective practice and go deep in understanding each family, advocating for the inclusion of diverse family voices throughout each corner of the program.
In this session we will explore how integrating family voice helps programs meet Head Start Performance standards and shows up in the PFCE framework, and the roles that Head Start professionals play in this process.
We will explore:
- The Why: According to the research, why incorporating family voice is important for positive family and child outcomes
- The What: What families say is important to them, including real-life examples from the voices of Head Start families
- The How: How direct service staff can authentically incorporate family voice into their work
Participants will get take-home resources to help them engage in self-reflection and begin the process to incorporate more family voice into the next program year.
Sandy Oceguera, is the Sr. Data Product Manager at NHSA. Her background includes 5 years in social services and 5 years in big data analytics lending her a unique perspective in utilizing and developing NHSA’s data products, including Parent Gauge, usefulness for the field. Sandy holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Colorado State University with a specialization in public and nonprofit management.
Mallary Swartz, Ph.D., Senior Director of Learning and Impact at ParentPowered and an applied researcher in family engagement and early childhood. She has spent 20 years cultivating relationships, managing partnerships, and leading research, evaluation, and innovation projects at family-focused organizations such as Start Early, Fred Rogers Productions, and Brazelton Touchpoints Center. Mallary also served as Co-Principal Investigator for the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. She has a Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University, an M.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.A. from Duke University.