How can I conduct family/parent engagement in my community?

The Baby TALK approach supports meeting families where they are, and delivering appropriate services based on their needs. While the outreach model works for any family raising any age group of children, the focus has been to reach families prenatally or with children through age six. The model supports the federal early childhood focus of providing comprehensive services to young children and families. In addition to meeting the Illinois state goal of finding and supporting children considered the most at-risk, the Baby TALK Curriculum meets the new Head Start Performance Standard, 1302.51:  Parent Activities to promote child learning and development.

The standard places a new requirement on Head Start and Early Head Start programs to “at a minimum, offer opportunities for parents to participate in a research-based parenting curriculum that builds on parents’ knowledge and offers parents the opportunity to practice parenting skills to promote children’s learning and development.”

The Baby TALK Model encourages organizations to engage families in the casework process; we know that parent involvement initiates the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families in the child welfare system.  We encourage family specialists and parent educators to view the parent as the expert on their family’s unique challenges, ultimately empowering parents in developing long-term and sustaining solutions.

Why Baby TALK?

  • Baby TALK Curriculum has been used to support Parent and Family Engagement for 30 years including Head Start programs across the country.
  • Baby TALK is an organization led by community outreach.  Baby TALK’s Model provides communities with an innovative solution to identifying the most at-risk families in your community and a community network to meet their needs. 
  • Baby TALK’s Approach to working with families provides professionals with the knowledge and resources to build trusting relationships with families.  Research shows us that the relationship between the professional and parent is the number one factor in impacting positive family outcomes.
  • Baby TALK’s Parenting Curriculum is aligned with the Head Start Parent Family Community Engagement Framework.              
Feedback from professionals regarding Baby TALK training and curriculum:
“I’ve learned how to help parents talk about things that bother them and about different aspects of parenting." -Early Head Start Professional
“Very eye-opening, informative, kept audience very engaged.  Worth every minute and wished I could have done this sooner!" - MIECHV Professional
“I learned to be more conscious of the lens I bring in the home when observing the family.” - Home Visiting Professional

Baby TALK is here to support your program.  For more information, contact Deb Widenhofer, or call 217-475-2234.