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Fall/Winter 2013



Strengthening Families Georgia (SFG)

Partner Announcements

The Georgia Department of Education

Georgia Family Engagement Conference

January 9 - 11, 2014

Classic Center, Athens, GA


Late registration ends December 20th! Parents and educators are invited to attend this conference which is a collaborative partnership between the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), Title I Part A,  Georgia PTA, and United Way. The theme of the 2014 conference is "Building Connections: Sharing Responsibility to Impact Student Achievement and Success."  


Conference Registration:


Participants can look forward to an innovative and informative conference that includes nationally recognized keynote speakers with dynamic family engagement messages, breakout sessions from state and national leaders in family engagement, a parent leadership seminar featuring GA PTA and United Way experts along with members from the State Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council, unique networking opportunities and much, much more!  Schools and districts are encouraged to use their Title I funds for appropriate parent and staff member attendance at this event, inclusive of travel and registration. 


To learn more and register for the conference please visit the conference website.


Sheltering Arms Georgia Training Institute Announces

Temple University

Credential for Strengths-based Family Workers

Instructor Institute

February 3-7, 2014


Credential for Strengths-based Family Workers (SFW) is a new training and credentialing process for family workers developed by the Temple University National Family Development Board which provides training for family development workers to be able to facilitate a family's ability to obtain and maintain self-sufficiency. The training program is designed to foster knowledge and skills that workers who interface with individuals and families need in order to assure maximum effectiveness in the delivery of helping services.


Core Competencies of SFW:

  • Demonstrates professionalism and commitment to ethical practice
  • Recognizes strength in diversity and difference; demonstrates sensitivity in practice
  • Understands and utilizes the power of clear, non-judgmental communication
  • Demonstrates self-care and lifelong learning
  • Applies strengths-based principles to practice with families
  • Applies strengths-based principles to agency and community systems
To learn more about this training including trainer requirements and cost download the Sheltering Arms training announcement


National News from 

Strengthening Families


The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) 

is Field Testing a New Parent Survey and Needs 

Help from Parents and Caregivers


The Center for the Study of Social Policy is developing a new assessment tool to measure parents' perceptions of their strengths and is looking for individuals to help test the technical adequacy and usefulness of the instrument. 


Information provided by this new tool can be used in designing, implementing and monitoring effective service plans, as well as in evaluating the effectiveness of programs that aim to support parents in building their protective factors.


In order to field test this new instrument, CSSP needs help in recruiting a minimum of 2,000 parents and other primary caregivers of young children. They need volunteers:

  • Who have at least one child birth to 8 years old
  • Who are fathers, mothers or other primary caregivers
  • From all age groups (teen parents to grandparents who are primary caregivers)
  • From all racial and ethnic/cultural groups
  • From all economic groups
  • From all regions of the country

The survey (via Survey Monkey) takes roughly 20 minutes and can be accessed by clicking on or copying and pasting the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VSLWS7R


Submissions must be completed by January 5, 2014.


Please distribute this message to individuals in your networks and ask them to encourage parents to complete the survey. Also, if you or members of your network meet the eligibility criteria or have family members who do, please complete the survey as well. Thank you!



From the Toolbox - 

Resources You Can Use


The Importance of Family Engagement in Infant and 

Toddler Programs


Family engagement strategies in child care and early 

education include families as partners and support families

in parenting their children to help them reach their full

potential. Research shows the value of building strong 

relationships among the adults in a young child's life and

the positive impact those relationships can have on the

family as a whole.


Strong family engagement practices are particularly important 

for families who face multiple challenges, like poverty and

language barriers. For example, more than three-quarters of 

Head Start families receive at least one family engagement 

service from the program; the most commonly accessed 

are parenting education (52 percent), health education 

(48 percent), and emergency or crisis intervention (21 percent). 

Despite its importance, knowing how to effectively engage 

parents from a variety of cultural and socio-economic 

backgrounds in child care and early education has historically 

been a challenge for the field. However, effective models like the Strengthening Families and Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement frameworks have offered approaches

that can help policy makers and practitioners improve

family engagement practices.


To shine light on what research tells us about the importance 

of family engagement in child care and early education programs 

serving infants and toddlers, CLASP has released a new resource. Promote Family Engagement is part of CLASP's 

"Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care" project, an ongoing 

effort by CLASP to link research to policy ideas to help states 

make the best decisions for infants and toddlers in child care. 

This latest resource provides research documenting the 

importance of strengthening family engagement, policy recommendations states can consider to improve their family 

engagement strategies for infants and toddlers, and additional 

online resources.


Using information provided in Promote Family Engagement

States can put policies in place that support and strengthen 

families with infants and toddlers and increase child care and 

early education providers' ability to serve those children well. 

By incorporating expectations around family engagement 

practices into quality, subsidy and licensing policies, states 

can build on the success of existing models and practices, 

creating both the incentive and the supports that programs 

require to meet the needs of vulnerable families. 


To find out more about the importance of family engagement in 

programs serving infants and toddlers as well as the policy options available to states, visit Promote Family Engagement.


This article was reprinted with the permission of the author, Christine Johnson-Staub and CLASP.


CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state, and local levels that improve the lives of low-income people, with a focus on strengthening families and creating pathways to education and work. Through careful research and analysis and effective advocacy, we foster and promote new ideas, mobilize others, and help advocates and government implement strategies that deliver results for people across America. For more information, visit www.clasp.org and follow @CLASP_DC.


About Strengthening Families Georgia


The state lead for Strengthening Families Georgia (SFG) is the Governor's Office for Children and Families (GOCF). SFG is administered by the Georgia Association on Young Children (GAYC) and represents a partnership of national, state, local, and public/private organizations dedicated to embedding five research-based protective factors in service/supports for young children and their families.


Vision: All families with children birth through age five in Georgia have the resources and support necessary for a meaningful and successful life.


Mission: To utilize the Strengthening Families assets-based framework of Protective Factors in all systems, programs, services and activities supporting families with young children as the approach to achieving the vision. These five Protective Factors are the foundation for the Strengthening Families approach:

  1. Parental Resilience - Parents can bounce back
  2. Social Connections - Parents have friends
  3. Knowledge of Child Development - Parents know how children grow and learn
  4. Concrete Support in Time of Need - Parents know where to turn for help
  5. Social and Emotional Competence of Children Children learn to talk about and handle feelings

A large group of Strengthening Families Georgia stakeholders, organized into a SFG Leadership Team, Partnership, and Supporters includes over 70 representatives from more than 30 organizations. The Leadership Team, made up of 20-25 members, provides direction and guidance for embedding the five protective factors in all areas of related work via:

  • Policy and systems change
  • Data driven decision-making
  • Integration and prioritization of work
  • Identifying and leveraging resources
  • Coordination and collaboration with similar state efforts
Funding Information

This project was supported in part by the Governor's Office for Children and Families through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590). Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Governor's Office for Children and Families or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Community Based Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CFDA 93.590).

For more information on Strengthening Families Georgia contact Jeanette Meyer, Strengthening Families Georgia Statewide Coordinator: strengtheningfamiliesga@gmail.com 
In This Issue
GaDOE Family Engagement Conference
Strengths-based Family Support Worker Credential
National News from Strengthening Families
From the Toolbox - The Importance of Family Engagement
About SFG