“Our youth would do so much better if parents were involved.” A simple conversation between two colleagues, one from Cornerstone and the other from COMPASS, sparked DYCD’s pathway to Circles of Support: a DYCD Family Engagement Framework. The following is a glimpse of how DYCD arrived at a system-wide approach to family engagement.
Circles of Support is …
Informed by the Research
DYCD conducted an exhaustive search of the literature and relied heavily on the following:
- Lisa Westrich and Karen Strobel — Study of Family Engagement in Redwood Community Schools — where communication, welcoming environments, intentional activities and partnership are stressed.
- Karen Mapp — Dual Capacity Framework which emphasizes building trusting relationships between school, home and community; establishing welcoming environments and providing resources to develop the capacity for partnership.
- Joyce Epstein — Six Types of Family Involvement which include how important effective communication and shared decision-making are.
- Global Family Research Project with its focus on promoting learning anytime and anywhere.
Integrates our Diverse Programs and Participants.
Every department and program needed to see themselves represented in Circles of Support which was accomplished by:
- aligning the framework with DYCD’s vision, mission and principles;
- convening an internal workgroup to draft the initial framework;
- incorporating feedback from Senior Leadership and every internal unit;
- reframing the conversation from parent involvement to parent engagement to family engagement to Circles of Support; and
- demonstrating the power of family engagement by conducting an activity for DYCD staff and their children — Family Day of Wonder (link to one pager and photos).
Incorporates the Views of Our Stakeholders.
DYCD staff visited providers to observe family engagement activities and learn from provider staff, families and communities.
Provided common lens and language for both DYCD staff and community-based organizations to use to view and enhance family engagement.
DYCD will sustain Circles of Support by…
- Supporting the Technical Assistance partnership between the Capacity Building and Professional Development Unit and Children’s Aid National Center for Community Schools
- Facilitating community and enhancing high-quality programs through maintenance of the Family Engagement Toolkit
- Convening workshops and Communities of Practice and providing individual program consultations
- Building elements of the Family Engagement framework in the Program Observation and Monitoring Tools