Family Engagement and Family-Sensitive Caregiving: Identifying Common Core

One quality domain of interest to program administrators and Quality Rating and Improvement System developers focuses on the relationships between families and providers. High quality family-provider relationships have been hypothesized to affect both child and family outcomes.

However, there are multiple perspectives on family-provider relationships (e.g., family engagement, family-sensitive caregiving, family-centered care, and parent involvement), each one unique in its emphasis, conceptual model, and targeted outcomes. Consequently, though a number of measures of family provider relationships exist, each of these measures tend to assess concepts unique to the conceptual model upon which it was based.

In order to facilitate the measurement of core components of high quality family-provider relationships, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care, sponsored the Family-Sensitive Caregiving and Family Engagement Working Meeting: Identifying and Measuring Common Core Elements.

While family engagement and family-sensitive caregiving are not new concepts, this working meeting provided an opportunity to build upon their existing definitions and to make progress towards identifying effective strategies for measuring their shared core constructs.