Web-Based Training Module
Intro to “Family Centered
Practices” in Early Intervention
Developed by
Toni Ledet, Ph.D.
Mary Hockless, M.Ed.
Sarintha Buras Stricklin, Ph.D.
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Collaborating Partners
 DHH Office for Citizens with Developmental





Disabilities
The Arc Baton Rouge, Children’s Services
First Steps Referral and Consulting, LLC
Innovations in Education,
State Interagency Coordinating Council
SICC Comprehensive System of Personnel
Development and Program Components Committees
Special Note: As part of participating in the Louisiana
“SpecialQuest” Initiative, materials from the SpecialQuest MultiMedia have been incorporated throughout this module.
(www.specialquest.org)
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Learning Outcomes
After completing this web-based training participants will

Define “Family” and describe why this particular definition
is important in their work in Early Intervention

Describe the overall philosophy of family-centered
practices including assumptions and principles

Consider their own personal values, assumptions, and
biases and how these affect their relationships with
families

Identify key features of family centered practices in Early
Intervention

Describe the rationale for implementing family centered
practices in their work
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 Throughout this training module you will be
asked to reflect on the information shared
to consider how you might use it in your
personal and professional lives.
 Opportunities for reflection support adult
learning by helping participants internalize
and generalize the content. You may want
to have a journaling notebook to record
your thoughts.
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Post Exam
 Participants in the training session
will complete a post exam.
 The results of the test will provide
feedback on what you have
learned from the module and will
provide EarlySteps with data on the
effectiveness of the instructional
content in this training module.
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View Video “Christopher’s Story”
Individual Reflection
View the video on the next slide
and record in your journal, “Who
is this family”? and “How would
they define their family”?
 Now think about your family
and record one word or idea that comes
to mind when you think about your-self as
a member of your family – Explore why
you came up with that particular idea or
word
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Christopher’s Story
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How Do We Define Family
“…big extended, nuclear, multigenerational, with one parent,
two parents, and grandparents.
We live under one roof or many.
A family can be as temporary as a few weeks,
or as permanent as forever.
Excerpted from the Report of the
House Memorial 5 Task Force on
Young Children and Families,
New Mexico, 1990
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Family
We become a part of a family by birth,
adoption, marriage, or from a desire for
mutual support… A family is a culture
unto itself, with different values and
unique ways of realizing its dreams;
together our families become the source
of our rich cultural heritage and spiritual
diversity.
… Our families create
neighborhoods, communities, sate and
nations.”
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Individual Reflection
Reflect and record in your journal
on how your
 culture
 values
 beliefs, and
 experiences
may affect the work you do with children
and families
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Culture
“The way of life of a group of
people, including shared views
of the world and social reality,
values, and beliefs, roles and
relationships, and patterns or
standards of behavior (such as
communication styles).” (Chen, et al.,
1998)
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Culture
“Cultural
features are linked
to a sense of shared
ancestry and continuity
with the past and can be
based on race, ethnicity,
nationality, geographic
location, as well as other
dimensions of diversity.”
(Chen, et al., 1998)
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Elements of Culture
Culture includes a group’s shared
 values,
 beliefs,
 behaviors,
 preferences,
 verbal and nonverbal communication
styles, and
 relationship patterns.
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Individual Reflection

Reflect on the following questions and
record your thoughts in your journal
 What stands out for you in the definition of culture and
the elements identified?
 Do you have any elements you think need to be
added?
 What implications might these ideas have on the
process of building relationships?
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Effective Relationships With
Families Depend Upon
 Open and honest communication
 Understanding, acceptance and respect for
values and belief’s different from one’s own
 On-going self-reflection
 Commitment to the relationship
 “Actively Listening” to the family
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Families
Families and service providers
bring their own personal and family
culture to their relationship.
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Part C of IDEA and
Family Centered Practices
 Part C of IDEA mandates the central role of the family throughout all
services.
 A goal of Part C is to “enhance the capacity of families to meet the
special needs of their infants and toddlers with disabilities” (Section
631).
 Subsequent sections of the law reference the inclusion of the family
in all aspects of the IFSP.
 The law emphasizes that the process is “family directed” drawing a
clear distinction between a less active role and one in which they
assume the lead.
 Louisiana’s Early Steps program supports this premise through its
mission and philosophy outlined in the Practice Manual. (see
Mission and Philosophy below in notes section)
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How do we define
Family Centered Practices?
 Definitions for “Family Centered Care or Services” started
in the area of health care, and exist in the fields of social
services, child welfare, developmental disabilities, and
mental health as well as Early Intervention
 The Beach Center (Allen & Petr, 1995) highlighted three
core elements of family centered services
1. The family as the unit of attention
2. Informed family choice
3. A family-strengths perspectives
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Definition of
“Family Centered Service Delivery”
"Family-Centered service delivery,
across disciplines and settings,
recognizes the centrality of the family in
the lives of individuals. It is guided by
fully informed choices made by the
family and focuses upon the strengths
and capabilities of these families."
(Allen & Petr, 1995)
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Characteristics of Family-Centered Practices
(Turnbull and Turnbull, 2001)
Include families in
decision-making,
planning,
assessment and
service delivery at
all levels
Offer and
respect families'
choices
regarding
participation
Characteristics of
Family-Centered
Practices (Turnbull
and Turnbull, 2001)
Develop services
for the whole
family (not just
the child)
Are guided by
families priorities
for goals and
services
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Underlying Assumptions of
Family Centered Principles or Practices:
 All people are basically good.
 All people have strengths.
 All people need support and encouragement.
 All people have different but equally important skills, abilities and knowledge.
 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 the relationship with service providers.
 Providers work for families.
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Guiding Principles and Practices for
Delivery of Family Centered Services
The ongoing
“work’ between
families and
providers is
about
identifying
family concerns
(priorities,
hopes, needs,
goals, and
wishes), finding
family strengths,
and the services
and supports
that will provide
necessary
resources to
meet those
needs.
Families are
active
participants in
all aspects of
services. They
are the ultimate
decisionmakers in the
amount, type of
assistance and
the support
they seek to
use.
Efforts are made
to build upon and
use families’
informal
community
support systems
before relying
solely on
professional,
formal services
The overriding
purpose of
providing
family-centered
help is family
“empowerment,
” which in turn
benefits the
well-being and
development of
the child.
Providers
across all
disciplines
collaborate
with families
to provide
resources
that best
match what
the family
needs.
Support and
resources
need to be
flexible,
individualized
and
responsive to
the changing
needs of
families.
Mutual trust,
respect,
honesty, and
open
communication
characterize the
family-provider
relationship.
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Provider Practice
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Provider Empower Families
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Provider involve families at
every level of decision making
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Provider assist families in
developing informal community
support systems.
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Provider teams working
together with families to meet
family needs.
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Family/provider relationship
require building mutual trust
and respect.
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Individual Reflection

Reflect on the Guiding Principles and Practices
for Delivery of Family Centered Practices
 Record in your journal one principle that you feel is your
strength and what practices you use that reflect this
principle
 Record in your journal one principle that you would like to
improve in and what practice you might implement
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Family-Driven Planning
 Family-Centered Services involves encouraging family-driven
planning
 Creating partnerships between professionals and families
 Sharing pertinent information and resources
 Begins with the initial contact with families
 Involves open-ended discussions about the family’s concerns,
priorities, and resources (CPRs)
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When Family-Driven Planning Occurs
 Families make decisions
 Partnership of communication and
collaboration with the family
 Participation is encouraged
 Respect for the differing levels of participation
chosen by each individual family
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Forming Successful Partnerships with Families
Reflect on your own
values and
perceptions
Earn the families’ trust
through interactions that
are respectful and
confidential.
Make an effort to
understand the family
Respect cultural
differences
Forming
Successful
Partnership
with Families
Focus upon a family’s
strengths
Allow families choices
Strive for positive
outcomes
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Focus On Family Strengths
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View Video “Embracing Possibilities”
Individual Reflection
Reflect on the video on the next slide
Record your thoughts about how forming
successful relationships was reflected in the
video.
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Embracing Possibilities
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Family-Directed or
Family-Based Assessment
 Information (resources, strengths, and concerns)
that becomes the foundation of their individual
plan
 Families choose to share information
 Includes as much or as little as the family
chooses to share
 Can occur in a variety of ways (e.g. interviews,
instruments, conversations, drawings)
 Can come from a number of family members
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Communication Strategies
 Active Listening
 Paraphrasing or Restating
 Giving concrete example
 Using open-ended line of
questioning and inquiry
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Communication Strategies
Self awareness and Reflection
Focus on the positive/Avoid
blame
Sharing perceptions using
family-friendly language
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Routines-Based Assessment
 Assessment process that is unlike the disciplinespecific, standardized assessment measures used
for eligibility purposes
 Enables teams to identify functional, individualized
goals
 Providers identify the skills or behaviors a child
must possess to get through daily routines
successfully
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Routines-Based Interview (RBI)
Families and professionals decide which of the
following are needed to make a particular routine
successful:
 Changing the behavior of the child
 Changing the environment
 Changing the expectations for the child
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“Routines-Based Interview”
McWilliam (2001) identifies the following 5 key steps in a
“Routines-Based Interview”
 Prepare the family (and class-room staff, if needed)
to report on routines
 Family reports on their routines
What are Routines?
 Interviewer reviews concern and strength areas
 Family selects outcomes
 Family puts outcomes into priority order
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What Are Routines?
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Routines Based Interview
Helping families develop their
outcomes
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Writing Functional Outcomes
Based on Routines
Functional
Assessment
Information
Functioning in
Daily Routines
What’s
needed for
child to be
able to
participate,
learn from,
and enjoy
daily routines
Outcomes
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Individual Reflection

Review an IFSP of a child you are currently a
provider for and determine if family outcomes
are included
 Using that IFSP record in your journal how using RBI
might affect your practice and the outcomes developed for
families
 Record in your journal how you might begin to implement
the practices of RBI and writing more functional family
outcomes
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Closing Thoughts
The information shared in this training
module was designed to introduce
providers to the principles of Family
Centered Practices in Early Intervention
and to provide some strategies for
implementing these principles into daily
practices. As we move toward putting into
practice what we have learned, always
consider out definition of “Family”.
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Next Steps
Every provider of every
service in EarlySteps
should use the practices
from this module in their
service delivery to children
and families.
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References and Resources
“References and Resources” for
this training module can be found
below in the notes section.
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Thank You for Participating in the
EarlySteps Web-based Training Module:
Intro to “Family Centered Practices” in Early
Intervention!
Funding for training provided by the LA
Department of Health and Hospitals, Office
for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities,
EarlySteps
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Family Centered Practices - Louisiana Department of Health and