Build meaningful and inclusive family engagement into community decision-making about programs and services.
2.2.1 Identify parent or family groups that exist within the community, and seek feedback on their needs and suggestions for increasing family representation in community decision-making about programs and services.
2.2.2 Respond to the cultural, ethnic, racial, language, and socioeconomic characteristics and preferences of families to create equitable family engagement opportunities at the community level.
2.2.3 Include family representatives from the local community on coalitions and/or advisory councils, and as program evaluators, co-trainers of pre-service or in-service training sessions, mentors for other families and professionals, grant and application reviewers, and participants in needs assessment processes.
KDHE, KU-CPPR, and the Children’s Cabinet have developed and are implementing a family engagement strategy guide to increase and align opportunities. The Family Advisory Council, led by KDHE and the newly-formed Family Leadership Team (comprised of family leaders and representatives from KDHE, DCF, KSDE and the Children’s Cabinet), is expanding family leadership opportunities as well. Additionally, the Kansas Family First Family Council was formed and will begin work summer 2021.
Community partners, including the Kansas Children’s Service League, host parent cafes and other family engagement initiatives such as the annual Parent Leadership Conference (held virtually in July 2021). PDG Quality Subgrants are also supporting several local family engagement efforts including community awareness events and collaborative leadership teams that include family members.
There are several ongoing efforts that recognize the critical importance of ensuring family voice throughout the early childhood system, including inviting family members to participate in grant review committees through the CommonApp and partnering with individuals who have lived experience (IRIS Cultivation Cohort, Early Childhood Recommendations Panel, and Thriving Families). Additionally, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) funding now requires applicants to address racial equity in programs and services.