Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evaluating family engagement: Program application of the parent, family, and community engagement framework
by Smith, Dalenna Ruelas, Psy.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2015, 130; 3726295
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined how an Early Head Start and Head Start grantee, the Institute for Human and Social Development (IHSD), implemented the Office of Head Start’s research-based Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework. This study also evaluated IHSD’s performance and determined whether the organization accomplished its set intention of fostering family engagement in support of positive child development and education outcomes.

This formative, outcome-based program evaluation utilized qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate IHSD's systematic implementation of engagement. Parent survey data, interview transcripts, and a review of existing agency data provided a parent-oriented perspective on the IHSD’s engagement outcomes relative to the PFCE Framework.

Participants included parents of children in each of IHSD's five program options during 2012–2013 or 2013–2014. They participated by completing either a parent survey (n = 842) or an interview ( n = 12) regarding engagement-focused services, focusing on the parents’ perspectives of the services’ implementation and outcomes. Results from the surveys and interviews were analyzed with available IHSD data related to family services as well as child outcomes, including gains in social-emotional development and language and literacy development within the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP). Results indicate that the children made improvement gains within the DRDP domains investigated. Parents surveyed and interviewed identified the program environment as engaging and named the staff’s helpfulness as responsible. Among the aspects of the program they were asked to rate, parents identified the strategies of parent training, parent leadership council membership, home activities, home visits, parent meetings, and volunteerism as ideal in meeting their needs.

In general, IHSD is a high-quality agency providing early childhood education that engages families and grows parent engagement by teaching parents to be their children’s advocates and teachers. The results of this study indicate that if IHSD continues to effectively implement strategies and incorporates feedback from these findings, the organization’s child development programs will likely continue to excel.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nzewi, Esther, @Ph.D
Commitee: Morgan, PhD, Robert F.
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation
Keywords: Early childhood, Framework, Head start, Program evaluation
Publication Number: 3726295
ISBN: 978-1-339-10967-1
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