W. K. Kellogg Foundation: Introducing Family-Centered Coaching

Get To Know Family-Centered Coaching
WK Kellogg Foundation logo

Dear Colleagues:

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (The Kellogg Foundation) is pleased to introduce the Family-Centered Coaching Toolkit, a new set of resources that supports parents and families in moving toward their goals and greater economic prosperity. Family-centered coaching offers practitioners an open-sourced set of tools to help create strong relationships and partnerships with families. A growing number of organizations in various sectors and fields are beginning to use coaching and other innovative approaches to work differently with families. To help catalyze and spread this work, the Kellogg Foundation has invested in this effort to bring the best thinking, best practices, and most effective tools and approaches together into this Family-Centered Coaching Toolkit.

At the Kellogg Foundation, we have a mission of supporting children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as vital contributors

to their communities and the greater society. We believe all people have the inherent capacity to effect change in their lives, in their organizations, and in their communities. In service to this mission and our values, we have been working to advance family-centered approaches, efforts that create equitable conditions and combine integrated supports for families in education, health, family economic security, and social capital. Through these approaches, we seek to break intergenerational cycles of poverty by addressing equity in employment and education, building economic stability for families, and helping all children grow and thrive.

As family-centered strategies are rapidly expanding, there is a critical need to support programs and partners in approaching their work with families holistically. Unfortunately, most coaching efforts are not truly family-centered–that is, they do not approach coaching in a whole-family way. Organizations may work with parents on parenting coaching, or on workforce/career planning, or on financial coaching. Few programs focus on coaching that takes the whole family into account. But families don’t segment their lives and goals into the silos and systems that have been created. And because coaching is at the core of family-centered approaches and is one of the key places where all of the elements of what parents and children need and deserve come together, it is well worth investing in helping those working with families adopt these effective practices.

We hope that this toolkit will help spark, transform, and strengthen the ways in which we all come together to serve families more effectively and holistically across generations. The WKKF has a deep commitment to racial equality and developing leaders and engaging communities to solve their own problems, and we lean heavily on our partners’ collective work around family engagement in drafting these resources. This toolkit was developed with engagement, testing by and feedback from a range of community organizations, public- sector practitioners, and parents, and has resulted in tools that honor the resiliency and diversity of families. These tools don’t just focus on one aspect of a family’s life, but follow, support, and celebrate the many various goals of families in transforming their lives for the better.

This toolkit is an ever-evolving resource, and we hope that you will contribute your expertise, insights, and feedback as we move forward. We know that together, committed individuals with passion and purpose can advance more effective practices for families. Together we can transform the ways in which our programs and systems respond and meet the needs of whole families.

Thank you.

Paula Sammons 

Program Officer

W.K. Kellogg Foundation