How can your program help families thrive and receive the support they need?
A great way to increase family engagement and ensure it trickles down to improve the lives of program youth is to connect families to educational and community resources and opportunities. These resources and opportunities should be provided in response to their questions or concerns for themselves and their children. In addition, there should be opportunities for families to share their strengths and teach, inform and support others.
Click on each of the following questions from parents to see suggested responses:
Parent #1: "Why should I come to parent workshops to find out what my child is learning in school? Isn’t it the role of the school to educate my child?"
Response: "Research shows that students whose families are actively involved in their education have improved academic and life outcomes."
Parent #2: "Now that our son is a teenager, it is harder to get him to focus on his academics. What can we do to help?"
Response: "Our program has a 'middle school support group' for parents. It meets a few times a month. It’s a great way to connect and problem solve with other parents. We even have a school guidance counselor facilitate the group. Join us!"
Parent #3: "Seeing my daughter graduate from high school made me realize it’s time to do 'me'! Do you have information on GED preparation classes?"
Response: "Call our program manager. Her number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. She can refer you to a few organizations in the area that currently have GED classes."
How can you learn what families need and want from your program?
Use a suggestion box, surveys and community meetings.
What strategies can you use to engage parents in workshops or classes?
Encourage parents to take leadership roles, and offer discussion groups for families.
- 2Key Terms
- 3Family Engagement Diagram
- 4Why Is It Important?
- 5Great Benefits, Low Turnout
- 6Reasons Why Families Don't Connect
- 7Overcome Challenges
- 8Back to Basics
- 9Assess Your Family Engagement
- 10Plot Your Challenges
- 11Building Blocks of Family Engagement
- 12Build Relationships
- 13Communicate With Families
- 14Know Your Families
- 15Do's and Don'ts for a Welcoming Environment
- 16Understand the Cultures You Serve
- 17Be Open to Different Types of Engagement Activities
- 18Meet Family Needs
- 19Getting Input From Families
- 20Expand Services to Engage Families
- 21Four Key Types of Engagement
- 22Adult Development Activities
- 23Spotlight Topic: Drug and Alcohol Prevention
- 24Shared Activities for Students and Families
- 25Governance and Leadership Opportunities
- 26School and Community — Linking Activities
- 27Support Families
- 28Benefits of Family Engagement
- 29Working With Families in Rural Areas — Understand Needs
- 30Working With Families in Rural Areas — Strategies
- 31Working With Culturally Diverse Families — Understand Needs
- 32Working With Culturally Diverse Families — Strategies
- 33Working With Nontraditional Families — Understand Needs
- 34Working With Nontraditional Families — Strategies
- 35Special Challenges: Families Facing Drug and Alcohol Problems
- 36Keep It Going
- 37Learn More Library
- 40Check for Understanding
- 1Implementing Family Engagement
- 2Know Families and Their Cultures
- 3Know Families and Their Cultures — Coaching Moment
- 4Understand Challenges to Family Engagement
- 5Understand Challenges to Family Engagement — Coaching Moment
- 6Engage Families
- 7Create a Welcoming Environment
- 8Support Families
- 9Support Families — Coaching Moment
- 10Pull It Together
- 11Additional Resources