Newark Family Engagement Network

Newark Family Engagement Networkpfp_annual_2014_page_07_image_0001

Programs for Parents seeks to build the capacity of family engagement practitioners in the early childhood field and provide them with the tools and resources to empower parent leaders and help families support the learning and development of their children. In 2014, the Newark Family Engagement Network was established to bring together frontline family engagement practitioners for professional development and training, sharing best practices and innovative tools. Our goal is to help early childhood programs promote quality and improve effectiveness in the areas of outreach, parental involvement and parent, family and community engagement.

The Newark Family Engagement Network (NFEN) is a collaborative effort of early education providers, schools, community based organizations, state and local policy-makers convened by Programs for Parents to reshape how families are engaged and empowered to better themselves and improve the lives of their children.


The NFEN –

  • Built a collaborative network of family serving organizations to set goals, measure progress, share resources and innovative practices and improve communications across organizations
  • Developed an online resource directory and mobile phone application to make information on resources and supports for families more readily available (Axcess Newark)
  • Provided mini-grants and targeted professional development for organizations working with families to build capacity and scale what works

The NFEN is funded by a generous grant from the Foundation for Newark’s Future.

Our Approach: Programs for Parents is launching its second cohort of the Community of Learning (formerly the “Professional Learning Community”). The Community of Learning (CoL) is an action-learning collaborative for family engagement practitioners designed to help programs meet state and federal standards for family engagement.

The CoL builds skills and capacity of organizations by scaling what works and testing innovation to:

  • Better engage families
  • Connect families with social services
  • Empower parent leaders

The Community of Learning will embrace a continuous learning process focused on four key actions:

Learn – Research, thought leadership and dialogue around topics and issues of mutual interest and opportunity in a learning community

Act- Experiential actions to spark creativity and innovation

Assess – Open analysis of innovative actions and identification of best and promising practices

Share – Dissemination of “what works’ for purpose of knowledge transfer, replication, and bringing to scale


The Community of Learning will meet on a monthly basis, with some sessions held as a group and others as small group or one-on-one coaching site visits.




Click here to see the Community of Learning 2017 Annual report


The Chad School Foundation in partnership with Programs for Parents and Newark Public Schools announces 2018 Attendance Innovation Awards

Click for more information




Click here to see the Family Engagement Conference 2018 booklet








Click here to see the Family Engagement Conference 2017 booklet




Photos from the Family Engagement Conference 2018




For more information contact Twana Thompson at

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