Families entering the “world” of early intervention or early childhood special education do so under a wide variety of circumstances. For some, this may be their first time as a parent; therefore they may have limited awareness of the supports available for their family. Others may have walked through a similar journey before and understand their role in the process. Still others may come from a place of uncertainty or even resistance to accepting the fact that their family story may follow a different path than what they initially envisioned.
Regardless of where a family is coming from, every family deserves, and has a right, to be fully included and play a primary role in their child’s intervention services. In order for early childhood professionals to serve as effective partners, they need a solid understanding of how to view each family in light of their current circumstances. Professionals need the tools to meet each family “where they are” while striving to actively involve family members in the manner in which they are comfortable being engaged.
On June 23, 2016, Dr. Carol Trivette from East Tennessee State University will present the second part of a linked-series of family-centered webinars. This upcoming webinar is entitled, Engaging Families to Focus on Intervention Strategies. The session will highlight effective strategies for increasing parent engagement within their child’s intervention services. Dr. Trivette is an internationally known leader in the field when it comes to building a family’s confidence and competence. Her presentation will focus on how to accomplish this very important goal by highlighting the DEC Recommended Practices related to supporting families.
Family practices encompass three themes:
- Family-centered practices: Practices that treat families with dignity and respect; are individualized, flexible, and responsive to each family’s unique circumstances;; provide family members complete and unbiased information to make informed decisions; and involve family members in acting on choices to strengthen child, parent, and family functioning.
- Family capacity-building practices: Practices that include the participatory opportunities and experiences afforded to families to strengthen existing parenting knowledge and skills and promote the development of new parenting abilities that enhance parenting self-efficacy beliefs and practices.
- Family and professional collaboration: Practices that build relationships between families and professionals who work together to achieve mutually agreed upon outcomes and goals that promote family competencies and support the development of the child.
We will host our second Lunch & Learn (L&L) on June 29, 2016, as a follow-up to Dr. Trivette’s webinar. During the interactive L&L, you will be invited to share personal triumphs and challenges pertaining to your work with families. Meeting families “where they are” and knowing how to actively engage them is a vital piece of the puzzle within the world of early intervention and early childhood special education. We are excited to have Dr. Trivette share her knowledge on June 23 and invite you to share yours during our Lunch & Learn on June 29.
This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the OneOp FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about OneOp FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and YouTube.