Family Engagement

3 Elements of Effective Youth-Adult Partnerships
I remember walking into my first board meeting at America’s Promise at the age of 18. My heart was thumping in my chest, my palms were sweaty, and my voice was shaky. I was newly elected to the board as a youth representative and the Executive Director of the country’s first youth-led Community of Promise in Pittsburgh, PA. The whole board meeting experience was intimidating, from the expansive conference table and mic set-up to the security that ushered other members of the board into the room.  But I was honored to be there. The meeting was called to order and [Read further...]
This report from Grad Nation at America’s Promise examines, from the perspective of young people themselves, the roles that relationships with adults and peers play in decisions about staying in, leaving, and returning to high school. To read the full report, click here: Don’t Quit on Me: Mentoring Out Of School Youth
This primer to a new report from the University of Pittsburgh Center for Urban Education shares research on to the cradle-to-prision pipeline and cites ten common contributors to it.  The full report, expected to be released soon, will include recommendations for action. Disrupting the Cradle to Prison Pipeline – Primer
Engaging parent and caregivers in youth programming has emerged as a key area and emerging trend for youth service providers, regardless of programming. Recently, MANY’s Associate Director, Kristen Truffa, presented with Dr. Antoinette Basualdo-Delmonico, Lecturer, BUSSW, & Independent Researcher, at the National Mentoring Summit. The workshop, Engaging Parents/Caregivers as Partners in Mentoring Programs, focused on the growing body of research that supports parent engagement as an effective strategy to improve program outcomes. As parents/caregivers are an integral part of the mentor/youth match and are often the deciding factor for the continuation, or end of, the mentoring match, it is important [Read further...]
This post was written by Katy White, MANY’s Director of Research and Innovation. Across the youth services field, there is a growing conversation of how and when to engage families as part of supporting the youth that come in our doors. This is a topic that often carries strong emotions for those involved, depending on the unique relationship the youth has with his or her family. Whether in a foster care, mental health, juvenile justice, runaway/homeless youth, or mentoring setting, the family plays a role. Over the last several years, MANY has been active in engaging youth service providers in [Read further...]
Formal youth mentoring typically emphasizes the relationship between a mentor and mentee, particularly efforts related to the development and maintenance of this relationship; however, these mentoring relationships do not develop in a vacuum as youth are embedded in multiple social networks including family systems. While programs have traditionally minimally involved parents/guardians, some programs have begun to engage families in more prominent ways. Informed by approaches from other preventative intervention fields serving youth who are at high risk, and previous research suggesting that family involvement relates to better youth outcomes (e.g., DuBois et al., 2002), this new research by Spencer and [Read further...]
OJJDP has released OJJDP’s Family Listening Session: Executive Summary, a report on the findings from four listening OJJDP sessions held with families and youth who had direct experiences with the juvenile justice system at the local and state levels. In collaboration with the Campaign for Youth Justice and Education Development Center, Inc., OJJDP convened the listening sessions from March through July 2011. The goal of the sessions was to learn firsthand about the experiences of system-involved families and to explore ways to improve family engagement and ensure better outcomes for children and youth. Following are some examples of common themes [Read further...]
This report provides a historical context for the role of family engagement within the juvenile justice and child welfare system. It goes on to discuss the implications of not engaging parents  and offers recommendations for engaging families in a meaningful and impactful way. Click here to view the entire paper
The Family Engagement for High School Success Toolkit is designed to support at-risk high school students by engaging families, schools, and the community. Created in a joint effort by United Way Worldwide (UWW) and Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) as part of the Family Engagement for High School Success (FEHS) initiative, the toolkit has two parts: Part 1 focuses on the comprehensive planning that goes into the development of a family engagement initiative.; Part 2 focuses on the early implementation process. To access see the toolkit: FEHS_Toolkit-111611