Innovative Approaches to Family-Centered Coaching: Six Partner Experiences

Family-Centered Coaching is not a one-size-fits-approach. As we’ve worked with organizations around the country we’ve been honored to see each live into the approach in their own way. Through a culture of learning, coaches and their leadership have built the relationships and continuous improvement to center programs on the services that families need and deserve. Through the leadership and learning we facilitate, we often hear from our partners how they are innovating.

We interviewed staff at six organizations to capture how each are continuing to develop their practice of coaching and build coaching teams and culture. As you read and reflect on how this organization’s experience might apply to your own, remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Family-Centered Coaching aligns with your community to deliver the programs that families need and deserve.

Brighton Center

Read: Shifting Power to the Participant Through Family-Centered Coaching

“We’ve been doing this work for a long time and we’ve learned that this is an endeavor, not an arrival. You have to continually keep it out front. As an organization we have been really mindful and are very deliberate about how we approach things.”

Melissa Hall Sommer, Vice President

Operation Pathways

Read: Inspiring Essential Buy-In for Family-Centered Coaching

“The initial Family-Centered Coaching training changed our lead training team as individuals: it elicited reflection, it allowed us to ask and explore powerful questions, and that was what we brought forth into our organizational training. When you can see yourself as both the coach and as coachable, it is a powerful training.

Kevin Lewis, Deputy Executive Director & Assistant Vice President of Resident Services

New Moms

Read: Deepening Racial Equity Through Family-Centered Coaching

“Family-Centered Coaching really shined a light on racial equity. It is so important for our staff to have shared language around racism. We can’t just think about case management without thinking about racial equity. We can’t think about families without thinking about racial equity.” 

Luecendia Reed, Director of Family Support Services

Read: Implementing Family-Centered Coaching Through a Culture of Feedback

“The Family-Centered Coaching mindset and approach is more equitable than the average hierarchical case management approach. We talk all the time about shifting power to participants–they say that it feels different at New Moms. In the absence of other hard data, we continue to do this work because we hear from participants and coaches that this approach is more equitable.”

Dana Emanuel, Director of Innovation

Literacy Cooperative

Read: Developing Funding to Support Adoption of Family-Centered Coaching

”In order for us to work better together, we need to get involved in the Family-Centered (FCC) approach, so that our partners’ staff can look at the family in a more holistic view instead of only the family members enrolled in their organizations. I facilitate and lead a 2Gen committee that has about 16 organizations with 25 people involved. We work together to bring family-centered work to our community.”

Laureen Atkins, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Maricopa County Human Services Department

Read: Adopting Family-Centered Coaching Across a Larger Organization

“Before we adopted Family-Centered practices there was already a need within our department for professional development, specifically our staff who see clients in crises on a daily basis. One of the biggest pain points that frontline staff had was the need to have resources that were applicable for working with their clients, especially dealing with clients who seemed to be returning often.”

Shelly Jarrett, Staff Development Coordinator

Flint Genesee Literacy Network

Read: Building Capacity for Family-Centered Coaching Through a Community of Practice

“The Family-Centered Community of Practice supports providers who want to hone skills and build capacity. The Family-Centered Coaching training was an emotional and social support for participants and has helped us establish a foundation, by developing a standard, tools, and skill sets. I heard from participants of Family-Centered Coaching training that they really appreciated being able to build relationships in smaller groups and found great value in getting to know people that they’ve seen in community, in different spaces, and they enjoyed working intimately as a team and producing a work product together.”

Angela Hood- Beaugard, Executive Director

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