Published: December 2017
Produced by: Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust, MDC, Forsyth Futures
Background: Forsyth Family Voices (FFV) is a powerful way to engage the voices of parents and families of young children in the programs that serve them—and in the community’s early childhood system.
The FFV approach, using shared survey and focus group tools to listen to and learn from families, was developed collaboratively with a diverse, cross-sector group of agencies representing different fields within the early childhood system. Through FFV, agencies in the Forsyth County early childhood system are collectively building a deeper understanding of the needs, strengths, and ideas of the families they serve. Agencies are able to use FFV data to inform and improve their program planning and service delivery. Additionally, FFV has provided new access to shared data that can inform how all of us in Forsyth County support families across the system.
The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust invested in FFV as a part of Great Expectations—an initiative that works to ensure that all children living in Forsyth County enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust invested in developing FFV because agencies across the early childhood system expressed a need to hear more from the families they serve. Additionally, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust set out to create Great Expectations as an initiative that is rooted in the experience and perspective of low-income families and families of color—groups that often do not have enough opportunity to have their voices heard.
As a part of FFV, 14 agencies have surveyed over 350 families. A first cohort of 13 agencies collected data in the summer of 2016, and those agencies trained a second cohort of 14 agencies to collect data in the summer of 2017. This report includes data from the second cohort of agencies. Additionally, 10 agencies are deepening their family engagement practice together through an FFV Learning Network.
Results from Forsyth Family Voices are providing rich insights from parents. We now know more about parent perspectives and needs—and have a deeper understanding of the opportunities and gaps that exist within the system of early childhood services. The Trust plans to continue this cycle of learning with parents and providers, as there’s much more to explore. This work is a starting point for genuinely engaging families in designing services and for promoting collaboration and data sharing between organizations—we plan to continue to build on this momentum.
Point of Contact:
Forsyth Futures Community Data Educator
(336) 701-1700 x104