Family Engagement Strategies for Meeting Parents in This Moment

P-5 Primary Domain

Family-Centered Practice


Designed for ECE (primary) and IECMH (secondary) Professionals

December 5-6, 2023

Families in the United States have had much to cope with over the last three years—a pandemic, economic instability, drastic reduction in child care availability, and an intensified spotlight (and judgment) on their caregiving in social media and “real life.” What is the state of parenting in the nation today and how can infant-family programs engage and connect with parents in this moment? 

Join this track to explore the current state of parenting in the U.S., informed by our collective knowledge and a series of monthly parent surveys that have unfolded from 2020 to the present. Discover a range of programming designed to meet parents in this moment: strategies for supporting constructive coparenting relationships, parent-centered approaches for nurturing early adult-child attachments, and techniques for discussing and uplifting issues of race and equity in infant-family work. Culminate your two-day wonderings and learnings by reflecting on the unique needs of your own community and considering how to bring promising practices to the planning and programming offered by your agency or setting. Together, we’ll explore how to spark powerful engagement with parents and caregivers, respond to the challenging context families reside within, and engage in the transformative practices that can lead to lasting positive change. 

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the stressors and challenges experienced by parents over the last three years, as identified by national survey research
  • Describe fatherhood engagement/coparenting approaches to support overall family health and functioning
  • Outline family support approaches to support secure caregiver-child attachments
  • Summarize strategies for explicitly addressing race and equity in infant-family programs/services