Walking Alongside: Exploring Family Engagement and Supporting Parent-Child Relationships

'Walking alongside' is a concept that helps practitioners in their work to empower families and strengthen relationships.

We currently do not have any offerings available. To connect with us about future opportunities, send an email to [email protected]


Approved by Illinois Early Intervention Training Project for:

  • 3 hours in Working with Families

Designed for practitioners that work with children from birth to age five in home visiting, early intervention, in-home, or classroom early childhood programs, this workshop deeply explores family engagement and the parent-child relationship. 

Attachment theory will be recognized in this session as the foundation for the parent-child relationship. Participants will explore research, and how to implement concepts like 'walking alongside' and 'Powerful Interactions' in their practice. Through a fair amount of reflective visioning, participants will explore what creates their own insecurities in developing relationships with families, and how these insecurities impact family engagement and supporting parent-child relationships.

About the Instructors

Laura Abbruzzese, M.S., is an early childhood professional with a degree in child development and community counseling. She has worked on many early childhood research projects over the last 15 years, specializing in early literacy and home visiting programs. Currently, she works on the Prevention Initiative Birth to Three project at Erikson. She also teaches child development courses at City Colleges of Chicago.

Kimberly Hanes, M.S., is a Social Worker with more than 25 years of experience in Home Visiting and consulting. She currently works at the Baby Talk Learning Institute in Chicago. She recently worked at the Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy at the Erikson Institute of Child Development in Chicago Illinois. She was honored to be given the opportunities to work with families and children in the inner city of Kansas City, tribal communities, and rural communities in Nebraska, South Dakota and Indiana. She has taught at Sinte Gleska University, the first Tribal University located on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, and was a Governor Appointed State Coordinator for Refugee Resettlement in Kansas City. Through all of these opportunities she has learned that authentic relationships are formed and real connections are made by; being present, listening to stories, being curios “leaning in,” and walking beside others in their journey towards change.



This workshop will help participants:

  • understand attachment theory;
  • understand how to implement 'walking alongside' and 'Powerful Interactions' in their own practice;
  • explore and address their own insecurities that subsequently affect their clients' family engagement, and thus the parent-child relationship

Upcoming courses

    We currently do not have any offerings available. To connect with us about future opportunities, send an email to [email protected]