#5. Community & Family Engagement
Programs should communicate their value to and connect with the wider community. By building positive relationships and meaningful interactions with families and community partners, programs expose young people in their program to new ideas, experiences, and supports that strengthen their development.
Research and Reports
Tools and Templates
- Harris, E., Rosenberg, H. and Wallace, A. (2012). Families and Expanded Learning Opportunities: Working Together to Support Children's Learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project. This brief explores the evidence-based ways that families and afterschool program staff must work together to ensure a high-quality program that contributes to young people’s learning.
- Horowitz, A. and Bronte-Tinkew, J. (2007). Building, Engaging, and Supporting Family and Parental Involvement in Out-of-School Time Programs. Washington, DC: Child Trends. This brief lays out why family involvement is so important for afterschool programs, and what they can do to encourage and sustain it in their program.
- The Expanded Learning & Afterschool Project. “Family Engagement.” From the Expanding Minds and Opportunities compendium. This page features articles on the research and best practices for family engagement in afterschool programs from a collection of leading youth program and afterschool researchers and practitioners.
- You for Youth (Y4Y). “Learn: Family Engagement.” This user-friendly online resource comes from Y4Y.ed.gov, the online professional learning and technical assistance resource for 21st Century Community Learning Centers. However, the resources are open for anyone to use. It includes, tools, templates, pre-made training kits, videos, and lots of engaging resources on Family Engagement and other topics. Make sure to also explore the “Teach: Family Engagement” page and the “Tools: Family Engagement” page.
- Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE). “Family Engagement in Out-of-School Time Needs Inventory.” This is a quick and easy Inventory Tool to help assess family engagement in your afterschool program.
- Harvard Family Research Project. “Create Your Own Case Toolkit.” This toolkit is designed to lead you through steps and exercises to write your own Family Engagement case studies and facilitate discussions around them with your afterschool program staff. By reviewing various Family Engagement case study scenarios with your staff, you help build their skills to effectively engage families in the program.