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February 2012Vol. 13, No. 1Positive Family-Provider Relational Practices

A new report by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) identifies core elements necessary for high-quality family engagement and family-sensitive caregiving in early care and education programs. The report stems from interest in family engagement across education and early care programs that was generated as a result of States measuring interactions with families in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and Head Start's focus on family engagement.

Family-Provider Relationships: A Multidisciplinary Review of High Quality Practices and Associations With Family, Child, and Provider Outcomes presents a multidisciplinary literature review that identifies common key practices in family-provider relationships and explores the associations between practice areas and outcomes for participants. The authors reviewed literature published between 2000 and 2010 from the fields of health, mental health, child welfare, early education, early care, and K-12 education. Three key elements for positive family-provider relationships were identified:

  • Attitudes—The provider's feelings toward and perceptions of those served
  • Knowledge—The awareness of the family's culture, language, and situation
  • Behaviors—The actions by the provider that reflect both his or her attitude and knowledge

The literature review also showed a strong correlation between positive family-provider relational practices and improved outcomes for children.

Family-Provider Relationships: A Multidisciplinary Review of High Quality Practices and Associations with Family, Child, and Provider Outcomes is available on OPRE's website:  (829 KB)

OPRE also recently released: