I found this list of assumptions about families that I thought was interesting and pertinent. It comes from the Iowa Early ACCESS group. The list helps us know what we actually believe about parents and families. After answering the questions for yourself, you could ask of your staff what they believe about families. This might help you “take the pulse” of your organization to fully understand if you are or aren’t a Family-Centered Program.
Answer “Yes” or “No” to the following statements.
- All people are basically good.
- All people have strengths.
- All people have different but equally important skills, abilities, and knowledge.
- All people need support and encouragement.
- All families have hopes, dreams, and wishes for their children.
- Families are resourceful, but all families do not have equal access to resources.
- Families should be assisted in ways that help them maintain their dignity and hope.
- Families should be equal partners in relationship with service providers.
How many of the above statements do you believe to be true? What about your colleagues? Ideally, in a Family-Centered Program, all of the providers would fundamentally believe that all of the above are in fact, true.