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Element 2: Facilitate Family and Professional Collaboration at all Levels
Providers must involve parents and other primary caregivers as partners at all levels of service delivery. Practice Considerations

  • Listen to families and follow their lead.
  • Be accessible to families.
  • Build confidence and competence in families, and tell them often what they do well, especially those strengths related to caring for the child and supporting his/her development.
  • Share new strategies to support child development and help families practice these new strategies within their family routines and activities.
  • Support families in their role as an advocate for their child.
  • Problem solve with families and help create win-win solutions.
  • Create family options; be sensitive to family members' capacity to handle an issue or task at a given time.
  • Assist families to learn how to be good historians, keepers of information, and care coordinators.
  • Inform parents about opportunities to affect policy at the community, state, and national level.
Services for the child are greatly enhanced when both the provider and the family value and appreciate the unique types of expertise that each has to offer. Family-centered care requires an attitude shift in the way in which we think and feel about one another as parents and professionals. It requires a climate of mutual trust and respect that will result in the provider and the family uniting in the best interest of the child.