Relationships are at the heart of a successful hub. And building authentic relationships requires spending time getting to know people. Giving quality time to a parent, even when you’re busy, is one of the best ways to make them feel valued and build trust. It is also important to continually engage with families, informally and formally, to find out their passions and interests, and what they want from their hub.
Find out about how to use the ‘World café’ technique and other ways to start discussions about what is important for your hub community.
“We assume too much about families. So I have a DNA policy— Do Not Assume. Do not assume parents can understand, read or write English. Do not assume they can read their mother language. Do not assume they have families or friends to rely on. Do not assume families know about services outside the hub.”
“Be very clear from the start that the hub is a place for everybody. You’ve got to have a clear idea of what the codes of conduct will be. Be clear that the hub is a caring and inclusive environment where families can discuss individual differences and negotiate responsibly, but they cannot dictate to others.”
“In our busy roles, let’s never lose sight of the importance of informal engagement and persistence.
Helping parents to recognise their personal capacity and skills is extremely important and providing the opportunity for them to share is very valuable. Language, or language confidence, can be a barrier to inclusion, but in a supportive, caring environment, many barriers can be overcome.
A family who are asylum seekers on community-based detention orders recently enrolled at our school. The mother was described by her caseworker as extremely depressed and with poor English.
I continued to engage informally with this mum for a couple of months, encouraging her to attempt English and providing feedback and encouragement that her language was comprehensible.
After three months, the mum agreed to attend the parents group meeting in the hub and began attending weekly. The group supported and encouraged her in her English language use and when we were talking about our individual strengths and skills, she indicated she had been a personal trainer in her country of origin. This led to the mum facilitating a weekly parents exercise group, with demand for a second class.”