Participants describe the Friday CAFÉs as focused, yet free-flowing. Topics are provocative in the sense that they are not the normal ‘data-driven’ discussions. Rather, they are about what’s on our minds or those of the families whose needs our members attempt to meet. The intent is for our members to leave the CAFÉ rejuvenated and encouraged.
Family engagement professionals often feel isolated. To help those in the field connect, Friday CAFÉ participants listen to and discuss a presentation, and share frustrations, successes, and ideas with like-minded colleagues. Gatherings are for networking, not training, with the get-togethers more like a laboratory setting.
Develop a robust professional identity for family and community engagement staff
Participants are peers at the Friday CAFÉ gatherings – with support and encouragement in mind, as well as the opportunity to learn from each other. Because there is no professional organization or network in CT for peer-to-peer learning and resource sharing, Friday CAFÉs are an opportunity to create a professional community.