Touchpoints in Schools

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Family engagement is one of the most important opportunities that school and out-of-school-time staff have to foster K–6 students’ success. Research shows that using a strengths-based approach to family engagement supports children’s learning and growth. In our work we often hear about WHAT to do to engage families. We hear less about HOW to partner with families.

Partnering with families is not always easy. As educators, we may be called to act as social workers, therapists, or counselors — without formal training or resources in these areas. Families and educators may have different perspectives and cultural experiences.  

So how can educators, principals, school counselors, and out-of-school-time staff engage with families in purposeful, meaningful ways? How can they nurture culturally responsive relationships with parents to help their children succeed? How can they build on families’ strengths to help students thrive? How can they develop trusting relationships that last?

Professional Development

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) offers two professional development trainings for professionals who work with children in grades K–6, both in school and in out-of-school time settings. Participants learn strategies to build strengths-based and culturally responsive relationships with families that last.

Strengthening Relationships with Families of School-aged Children

7.5-hour, 5-part workshop series

For teachers, principals, and other K–6 education professionals, engaging families is one of the most important opportunities that school staff have to foster students’ success and well-being. When educators focus on and celebrate families’ strengths, they build authentic, collaborative relationships with parents that benefit children and families.

This 5-part workshop series offers family engagement strategies that educators can use to support the success of their students. 

Workshop 1 – A View from All Sides: Perspective-taking to Support Family Engagement

Workshop 2 – Choosing Your Attitude: Using Strengths-based Family Assumptions

Workshop 3 – Listening to Understand: Communicating with Families

Workshop 4 – Reimagining Parent-Teacher Conversations: Engaging Families to Understand Students’ Behaviors

Workshop 5 – Valuing Passion: Connecting with Families around What They Care About

Who should participate in this series?

Professionals who work with families of school-aged children, including teachers, instructional assistants, school counselors, family and community engagement specialists, out-of-school time providers, and administrators.

How do participants learn?

  • Five 90-minute live, interactive workshops led by BTC Staff Trainers and National Facilitators
  • Live Spanish translation and closed captioning are available.
Touchpoints for School-Aged Children: The How of Child and Family Engagement

26-hour, multi-day intensive course

For teachers, principals, and other K–6 education professionals, building collaborative relationships with families is one of the most important responsibilities that school staff have to foster students’ overall success and well-being. When we focus on HOW to build relationships, we can support children’s learning even when we and parents have different points of view.

This training introduces the evidence-based Touchpoints Approach to family engagement. It focuses on strengths-based practices for building relationships with families. The training offers educators strategies they can immediately use in their work and opportunities for practice and reflection. 

Participants learn to: 

  • Have conversations with families even when we feel challenged by them
  • Understand children’s behaviors and examine how and why change in behavior occurs
  • Partner with families to promote child and family strengths
  • Address developmental or behavioral concerns with families
  • Re-examine our assumptions, biases, interactions, and communication with families to foster students’ overall success

Who should participate in this training?

This training is ideal for teachers, instructional assistants, school counselors, family and community engagement specialists, out-of-school time providers, or administrators working in K–6th grade settings.

How do participants learn?

  • Interactive, learner-centered online training led by BTC Staff Trainers and National Facilitators
  • Virtual format includes four 4-hour modules (live sessions), independent (or self-directed) practice assignments, and an online discussion board. Attendance is required at all live sessions.
  • 22 hours of course instruction and activities, followed by six 1-hour monthly reflective practice sessions that reinforce the strategies and tools learned during the live sessions
How were these trainings developed?

These trainings were adapted from BTC’s evidence-based Touchpoints Approach to family engagement. They build on the pioneering research and work of world-famous pediatrician, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton.  The trainings are grounded in an understanding of children’s development in ages 6–12. Participants learn practical strategies that staff in school-aged settings can use to

  • re-examine their assumptions and biases about families, 
  • honor and respect cultural differences with families,
  • improve communication with families, and
  • partner with parents to boost children’s social, emotional, and academic development.

We offer these trainings online to groups and to individuals. Contact us to discuss how to bring these trainings to your school district or community.

The Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) offers two professional development trainings for professionals who work with children in grades K–6, both in school and in out-of-school time settings. Participants learn strategies to build strengths-based and culturally responsive relationships with families that last.

Get Involved

Learn With Us

Babies and children, families and communities do the research on what it takes for them to flourish. Listen with us to what they’ve been learning. Watch a webinar. Check out the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative. Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center Learning Network. Join the conversation.

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