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

Build Relationships

Programs that support families and treat them with respect have a better track record with family engagement. 

View your families as a resource. Think about building relationships with families as an important step to helping students achieve and thrive. Building relationships with families does not happen overnight, but takes time, focused effort and understanding.

Start strengthening your relationships with families by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What policies are in place to make families feel welcome? Does the program reach out to all families, even those that may not speak English as a first language, or are not available to attend events because of work or other responsibilities?
  • What opportunities or resources are being offered for families, both inside your program and at home? For example, does your program regularly communicate opportunities for participation in leadership activities? What resources are offered around helping parents prepare their children for college and career activities?
  • Do families believe their participation makes a difference? How is this expressed at events, and in communication such as newsletters?

There are many simple ways to strengthen relationships with families, such as having coffee and donuts or fruit for parents once per week, calling home when their child had a great day, or making an effort to learn parents' names. 


Tip: Check out the Learn More Library for more information on how to build relationships with families.

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!

Glossary

Family Engagement