What Is Family Engagement? And How Can the Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tool (FESAT) Help?

ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center, Family Voices
Past Center Event
August 28, 2023
This webinar focused on family engagement as part of early childhood systems building.
graphic with pictures of multiple families with babies

During this webinar, LaToshia Rouse and Kasey Dudley-Tony from Family Voices highlighted the importance of partnering with families to drive early childhood systems change. They introduced the Family Engagement and Assessment Tool (FESAT) and how it can be used for assessing and improving family engagement. This webinar recording is relevant for the entire early childhood community, including family leaders, early childhood leaders, state health leaders, and others seeking to deepen and improve their family leader engagement work.    

Speaker Bios

Kasey Dudley-Toney, Program Director, Family Voices

woman wearing beaded necklace and patterned shirt

Kasey Dudley-Toney is a dedicated activist and advocate deeply committed to early childhood development, education, and supporting families of children with special healthcare needs. She currently serves as the director of the ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center within Family Voices. Previously, Kasey held roles at the Statewide Parent Information Center (SPAN Advocacy) in NJ, where she directed the Parents as Champions for Healthy Schools project and acted as the family engagement specialist for the Autism Medical Home at Hackensack University Medical Center from 2014 to 2019.

With an advertising degree and as a graduate fellow of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) at Rutgers University, Kasey’s influence extends to the Center for the Study of Social Policy Brain Trust, where she consults with clinical practices nationwide to implement practices enhancing young children’s social and emotional well-being, parent-child bonds, and kindergarten readiness. Additionally, she is a community catalyst for the National Urban Institute and the co-chair for the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children with Disabilities DEI workgroup.

While not currently practicing, Kasey is a certified community doula, lactation counselor, and licensed clinical massage therapist, specializing in infant & prenatal massage and sensory integration for children with special health care needs. In 2014, she authored and conducted “The Benefits of Breastfeeding,” a training series for underserved minority women in Essex County. Her expertise spans parent-led Head Start training, cultural competence panels, discussions on pertinent issues like Black infant mortality and education system disparities, and guest speaking engagements for prestigious organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the March of Dimes.

Kasey’s impact reverberates within her Bloomfield, NJ community, where she’s a crucial member of the Mayor’s Council Commission for Civil Rights and a co-founder of the Annual Juneteenth Observant Committee. Elected as a board member for the Bloomfield Board of Education in 2021 and subsequently sworn in as its first African American woman vice president in 2023, Kasey’s leadership is recognized through inductions into the Bloomfield Historical Society and congressional recognition from NJ Congresswoman Mikey Sherrill. A wife, mother, caregiver, and trusted advocate, Kasey Dudley-Toney embodies transformative community leadership.

LaToshia Rouse, Project Director, Family Voices

woman wearing red shirt

LaToshia Rouse is a certified birth and postpartum doula/ owner of Birth Sisters Doula Services as well as a Patient and Family Engagement Consultant. Her journey began as a patient partner 10 years ago, after having triplets at 26 weeks gestation via an emergency vaginal delivery. Early on LaToshia’s work was focused on bringing the parent perspective to the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) and antepartum improvement committees at WakeMed Health and Hospitals, including serving as a member of the NICU’s Vermont Oxford Network (VON) team. LaToshia has served as a subject matter expert and expert team member for the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC), American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and many other organizations.

She is a consultant with the Institute of Patient and Family Centered Care (IPFCC) and a Project Director at Family Voices. LaToshia is a sought-after speaker and consultant on topics relating to doulas, patient engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion. Her work has spanned all levels of healthcare with work in research, policy, and the executive committee level. She is on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ). She worked on policy with the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s (NCIOM) Maternal Health Taskforce and worked on policy as Co-Chair of the NCIOM’s Taskforce on the Perinatal System of Care in 2019. Her measurement work started in 2020, with the Maternal and Child Health- Measurement Research Network where she Co-Chairs the Equity Committee for the project. She is also a Co-Chair of the (National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives) NNPQC’s Executive Committee as well as the parent and family engagement lead. LaToshia completed her Diversity and Inclusion Certification at Cornell University to make more impact on equity for families, moms and babies. The opportunity to sit on the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)’s HEDIS and Health Equity Expert Work Group has been one of those opportunities. In reflecting on the work, she’s engaged in over the last number of years, LaToshia’s passion is finding ways for clinicians and patients to have a true partnership and improve outcomes.

Sign Up

Receive the latest information from the ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center.