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Meaningful Family and Community Engagement NDTAC Topical Call December 10, 2013

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Meaningful Family and Community Engagement NDTAC Topical Call December 10, 2013. Topical Call Agenda. Welcome and Introductions The Importance of Family/Community Engagement How Family/Community Engagement Relates to Positive Youth Outcomes

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Meaningful Family and Community Engagement

NDTAC Topical Call December 10, 2013

topical call agenda
Topical Call Agenda
  • Welcome and Introductions
  • The Importance of Family/Community Engagement
  • How Family/Community Engagement Relates to Positive Youth Outcomes
  • The Role of Families/Caregivers in the Intake Process
  • Exemplary Strategies/Practices for Family/Community Engagement
  • The Role of State TIPD Coordinators
  • Next Topical Calls
the importance of family community engagement
The Importance of Family/Community Engagement

Research has shown that there are many benefits when families/caregivers are involved in their child’s education:

  • Students are more willing to learn, and they feel better about themselves
  • They get better grades and attend school more regularly
  • They are more likely to graduate from grade school or high school and are more likely to continue their education
  • They are less likely to use drugs and alcohol, and they have fewer instances of violent behavior and suspensions

(Henderson & Mapp,2002)

the importance of family community engagement1
The Importance of Family/Community Engagement
  • Family/caregiver visitation of youth who are system-involved is associated with improved behavior and school performance
  • Programs that work with families (e.g. develop effective parenting skills, provide reinforcement) have shown success in reducing problem behaviors and increasing school success
  • Families/caregivers are potentially the most reliable sources of information about their child’s strengths, needs, and experiences and thus should be included in decision-making

(Agudelo, 2013; Garfinkel, 2010)

the importance of family community engagement2
The Importance of Family/Community Engagement
  • Karen Francis joins us today to talk about the necessity for meaningful family and community engagement and to share strategies for success in this effort
  • Karen’s background
featured presentation
Featured Presentation

Engaging Families and Communities to Facilitate

Positive Youth Outcomes

Karen Francis, Ph.D.


During this presentation we will:

  • Discuss how systems, facilities, and programs can plan for meaningful family and community engagement
  • Explore the role of family members and caregivers from the moment a youth becomes involved with the justice system
  • Discuss examples of successful strategies and programs and, hopefully, have you share some of your successes
polling question
Polling Question

In what region of the US are you located?

  • Northeast/Mid Atlantic
  • Midwest
  • South/Southeast
  • West/Northwest/Mountain
  • Southwest
  • Alaska/Hawaii
  • Territories
what is family engagement
What is Family Engagement?
  • Family engagement is the collaboration between families and systems (schools) that drives student achievement and positive outcomes.

(Adapted from: Flamboyan Foundation -

  • Family involvement is correlated with successful transition and reduced recidivism.

(Dague & Tolin, 1996, Palmer, 1996)

voices from family members
Voices from Family Members
  • Parents cite discomfort when engaging facility staff as an explanation for their absence
  • Parents do not feel that institutions are very welcoming
  • Parents experience long delays without explanation before being allowed to meet with their children
  • Parents experience barriers to visitation such as distance from facility and access to transportation
  • Parents not being contacted when issues/incidents
polling question1
Polling Question

What types of family engagement activities/strategies does your facility implement? Please identify as many as apply:

  • Facility hosting meet and greets for parents and family members
  • Providing written information to families that is easy to understand and in their native language
  • Providing families with regular updates about their child and educational needs
  • Providing transportation services for families visits
  • Creating a welcoming environment for families
  • Other strategies
  • None at all
family engagement
Family Engagement
  • Requires mutual respect and meaningful partnerships between families and professionals
  • Involve families as key stakeholders, whether they are helping tailor their child's individualized plan of care or helping design, build, or maintain the system of care
  • Involve families in policy development, care coordination, evaluation, strategic planning, service provision, individual and system advocacy
family driven care
“Family-Driven Care”

Family-driven means families have a primary decision-making role in the care of their own children, as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community. This includes:

  • Choosing supports, services and providers
  • Setting goals
  • Designing and implementing programs
  • Monitoring outcomes
  • Partnering in funding decisions, and
  • Determining the effectiveness of all efforts to promote the mental health and well-being of children and youth.

National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

engaging families
Engaging Families:
  • Emphasizes a respect for their capabilities and their role as part of the solution to addressing the needs of youth
  • Helps ensure sensitivity to cultural, service, and support needs
  • Supports the idea that - When families take an active interest in their child’s learning, students display a more positive attitude toward school, and show more positive outcomes
premise for family engagement
Premise for Family Engagement
  • All parents have dreams for their children and want what’s best for them
  • All parents have the capacity to support their child’s learning, and treatment
  • Parents and facility staff (educational program staff) should be equal partners
  • The responsibility for building partnerships rests primarily with the system and facility
reasons for family inclusion
Reasons for Family Inclusion

Reasons for including families in the juvenile justice process include:

  • The family is most familiar with the child/youth
  • The family is a large part of the environment into which the child/youth will transition/return
  • The family can be a strong element to reduce recidivism
working closely with families what does it take
Working Closely with Families – What Does It Take ?
  • Need to work within youth/families’ context
  • Harness positive energy of families as part of the solution, instead of blaming as part of the ‘problem’
  • Utilize knowledge and skills of the parents (experts)
  • Guidance to parent in addressing challenging behavior needs to be tailored, creating service approaches that will work for this family in these circumstances

Trina Osher, “What Families Think of the Juvenile Justice System:

Findings from the OJJDP Multi-State Study,” FOCAL POINT (Summer 2006), Portland State University Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health

considerations for implementing effective family engagement strategies
Considerations for Implementing Effective Family Engagement Strategies
  • The cultural perspectives of families and the community
  • Understanding perceptions about the dynamics of power/authority
  • Accessibility and creating a welcoming environment
  • Facilitating language access
  • Perspectives that families have about the juvenile justice system, their acceptance for participation, and how welcome their participation is
strategies for engaging families
Strategies for Engaging Families
  • Ensure that facility and educational program staff are able to communicate effectively with families
  • Share information about the school and student progress with parents
  • Provide opportunities for families to visit their children and become familiar with the staff and facility
  • Ensure that the facility and teachers are meeting the needs of families and students
  • Empower families to help their students be successful in and out of the facility
what does family engagement look like
What Does Family Engagement Look Like?
  • Any coordinators or subgrantees care to share examples of what how family/community engagement has been implemented in your programs or facilities?
the role of state tipd coordinators
The Role of State TIPD Coordinators

Strategies that TIPD coordinators can use include:

  • Encourage subgrantees to include family/caretaker engagement as a part of their TIPD applications
    • Section I in the Nonregulatory Guidance states that "an SA [State agency] must assure that it will work with parents to secure their assistance in improving their children's and youth's educational achievement and, as appropriate, preventing further involvement in delinquent activities…an SA, to the extent possible, must give parents the opportunity to participate in their children's and youth's educational plans.”
  • Include family/caregiver engagement as part of your monitoring plan
  • Support, to the extent feasible, use of TIPD funds to encourage family/caregiver engagement in programs and facilities
next topical calls
Next Topical Calls
  • Preparing Youth for the World of Work, December 18
  • Innovative Use of Funds, January 8
  • Meaningful Family/Community Engagement, March 18
  • Reminder: This and future topical call presentations and recordings will be available on the newly revised and revamped ND Communities website at

Available on the NDTAC website:    

  • NDTAC Toolkit: Facility Toolkit for Engaging Families in Their Child's Education at a Juvenile Justice Facility
  • NDTAC Guide: Family Guide to Getting Involved in Your Child's Education at a Juvenile Justice Facility

Additional Resources

  • Agudelo, S. V. (April 2013). The impact of family visitation in incarcerated youth’s behavior and school performance: Findings from the families as partners project. VERA Institute of Justice, New York.
  • Flamboyan Foundation.
  • Garfinkel, L. (November 2010). Improving family involvement for juvenile offenders with emotional/behavioral disorders and related disabilities. Behavioral Disorders, 36(1), 52-60.
  • Henderson, A. T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002). A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on students’ achievement. Austin, TX: National Center for Family & Community Connections With Schools. Retrieved from
  • National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (
  • Dague, B. & Tolin, C. (April, 1996). Developing parent supports within the juvenile justice setting: One
  • community’s experience. Presentation at Family Strengths meeting, Portland State University, Portland, OR.
  • Palmer, T. (1996). Programmatic and nonprogrammatic aspects of successful interventions. In A. T. Harland (Ed.), Choosing correctional options that work: Defining the demand and evaluating the supply (pp.131–182). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.