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Online Professional Learning and
Technical Assistance for
21st Century Community Learning Centers

Know Families and Their Cultures

How can you better know and understand families connected to your program?

Just like the youth you serve, no two families are alike. So your approach to understanding and connecting with each family, and understanding its culture, must be different and nuanced. Programs best support and utilize the talents of families when they understand their assets and challenges, act on their suggestions and ideas, and provide opportunities for families to take leadership and build efficacy.

Understanding families and their cultures takes time and effort. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Give families time to talk about themselves, their dreams and their needs.
  • Don't make assumptions. Encourage cultural self-assessment and cross-cultural communication among staff, families and youth.
  • Sponsor discussion groups, home visits and other activities that will help staff better understand and build relationships with families.

Coach's Commentary


My Notebook

Family Engagement

The Notebook is a useful way to jot down notes as you go through the various topics available on the You For Youth website. If you'd like to use the notebook, please sign in if you already have an account or register now to join the Y4Y community!


Family Engagement