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ERIC Number: EJ997248
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Strengthening Families in Illinois: Increasing Family Engagement in Early Childhood Programs
Jor'dan, Jamilah R.; Wolf, Kathy Goetz; Douglass, Anne
Young Children, v67 n5 p18-23 Nov 2012
Strengthening Families is a relationship-based child abuse and neglect prevention initiative started nationally in 2001 through a partnership between the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) in Washington, DC. Thirty-five states and several thousand early childhood programs nationwide implement Strengthening Families in early care and education settings. The states and programs build research-based protective factors into early childhood systems and programs to prevent child abuse and neglect. Protective factors are positive attributes that strengthen all families, not just those at risk for child abuse and neglect. The factors incorporate principles and practices regarding relationships, families, and community engagement from the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards, Head Start Program Performance Standards, and other measures of quality in early childhood education. Illinois became a pilot state for implementing Strengthening Families in early 2005. The Strengthening Families Illinois (SFI) leadership team includes early childhood professionals and parent leaders representing more than 40 partners--early childhood programs, agencies, community organizations--committed to embedding protective factors in their services for children and families. SFI engages families, bridges the gap between early childhood programs and the child welfare system, and develops early childhood learning networks. What makes the difference when Illinois early childhood programs build successful, collaborative relationships with families? The difference is staff's desire to shift and deepen their practice and to change practices that may be subtle barriers to closer staff-family connections. The shift from being child centered to family centered is difficult. It requires professional development, new practices, reinforcement, tools, and new ways of interacting with families and colleagues. But the benefits are profound.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois