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21st Century Community Learning Centers

Working With Nontraditional Families — Strategies

Strategies for connecting with nontraditional families are not necessarily different from those you would use with traditional families. However, here are some approaches you might explore:

  • When more than one household is involved, be sure to communicate with everyone (after checking guardian status). A child and a noncustodial parent may have strong ties, and that parent may want to be involved in the child’s education.
  • Reach out to grandparents by partnering with their networks, such as church groups and senior centers, to offer programs in technology use and parenting the next generation.
  • Foster parents may be hesitant to get involved if they think their relationship with a child will be short-term. Identify ways they can contribute, such as participating in a field trip or setting up a learning space in their home.
  • Single parents may rely on older children or relatives for help with child care. Be sure to treat those family members as you do the parent, inviting them to participate in appropriate activities.
  • Talk to school-day teachers to let them know when you become aware of family situations that might interfere with a student's focus or performance.

My Notebook

Family Engagement

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Glossary

Family Engagement