Understand Challenges to Family Engagement
What issues and factors hinder family engagement?
While poorly attended open houses or unreturned notes can be frustrating, they should not be interpreted as a lack of concern or support for a family's child. Factors such as little or no access to transportation, working multiple jobs, or cultural or language barriers may hinder involvement. Programs need to reach out to and involve families in different ways that fit their comfort levels and schedules, and build on their strengths.
- Take a strength-based, collaborative approach to working with families rather than focusing only on problems or working from the top down.
- Provide multiple ways to be involved that go beyond just coming on site during program hours.
- Don't make generalizations — deal with every family on a case-by-case basis to achieve the best results.
What challenges do families in your program face?
Every family is different. Consider individual family needs when programming.
How can you help them overcome some of those challenges?
Meet families where they are. Focus on their assets.
- 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