Communicating with Families

On-Site Training Module

This module was developed as part of the California Department of Education/Child Development Division School-Age Training Project and was revised in 2017 to incorporate specific language, examples and tips for summer and year-round learning programs.

For the success of a program, it is important that program staff recognize and accept family members as partners.  Staff must acknowledge their feelings about families and discuss how these feelings help or hinder working with a family as the first step to developing good communication and positive relationships with families. 

In this training participants will:

  • Identify their attitudes towards families.
  • Consider how their attitudes can enhance or detract from their ability to develop positive relationships with families.
  • Examine how a program’s overall environment supports strong staff-family communication.

Content Overview:

Icebreaker- Back to Back

Participants take part in an activity to help them towards understanding some of the benefits of developing positive partnerships with families.

Attitudes Toward Families

The basis for developing a family-friendly atmosphere is good communication with families.  Participants will reveal and learn to understand their attitudes about families.

Opinion Statements

Participants will react to different statements about families and consider how their attitudes enhance or detract from their ability to develop positive relationships with families.

The Communication Climate

Participants will discuss what they are going to do to develop effective partnerships with families through a positive communication climate.

Training Length: 2 hours


eLearning Module

Research shows that family involvement in quality out-of-school time programs can have the following benefits:

  • Improved parents’ engagement with their child’s learning, which can lead to stronger communication between families and schools.

  • Improved youth outcomes (such as behavior, well-being and school success). 

  • Better relationships between parents and their children.

Harris, E., Rosenburg, H., & Wallace, A. (2012). Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children’s Learning (ELO Research, Policy and Practice, Brief No. 2)

By the end of this module, participants will:

  • Identify their attitudes towards families.
  • Consider how their attitudes can enhance or detract from their ability to develop positive relationships with families
  • Examine how a program’s overall environment supports strong staff-family communication