Title

Are You Real? Fake? What's the Deal? Effective Parent Invlovement Requires REALationships

Location

Scarbrough 4

Strand #1

Family & Community

Relevance

This proposal relates to NYAR Conference Strand V: “Home”: Family & Community. Christ Child Society Inc., DC operates a multifaceted empowerment program for girls ages 8- 18 and their families in the District of Columbia, Washington Highlands community which is identified as one of the dangerous communities to reside in the country, according to the FBI. The program incorporates enrichment activities, academic support and counseling services to empower girls to develop skills that will help them grow socially, emotionally and become strong, confident healthy young ladies. The program recognizes that the girls do not live in a vacuum in isolation of their parents. Moreover, the program recognize that in order to successful impact and enrich the lives of girls; positive relationships with the girls “home” which includes families, communities and schools must be developed and maintained. Supporting and nurturing a true partnership with parents is a critical component of the program. The program provides a holistic approach that embodies the entire family. It is the belief that by empowering families, girls are being empowered to become strong and confident. In a matter of 5 years the girls’ empowerment program has seen tremendous growth. The success of the program is based on the relationship and trust developed with the parents. Parents are seen as equal partners and value as advocates for the development of their daughters. Outcomes for parents who are involved in the program hits most if not all Strand V skills: Parental engagement in school; Parental involvement in student achievement or discipline prevention; Effective communication with parents; Parenting skills and support; Adult-Youth partnerships; Mentoring; Community programs, partnerships, or service projects; Internships; University partnerships; Faith-based initiatives; Social service programs.

Brief Program Description

This session is for administrators, teachers, counselors and social workers who are interested in developing true partnerships with parents in order to increase involvement and engagement in student achievement. Afterschool programs and schools are always looking for the “magic” activity that would guarantee interest and increase parental involvement; however often times, they overlook an important element which is how they are showing up in their relationship with parents. This session will challenge participants to look at their communication and relationship with parents, acknowledging their feelings about families and identifying how these feelings help or hinder their work with families. Participants will receive proven strategies and tools that will help them create true partnerships, gain parent support, and increase involvement.

Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to 1) Identify their true feelings and attitudes towards parents 2) Recognize how those feelings and attitudes can have a positive or negative impact on their ability to develop positive relationships with families 3) Have a clear definition of what family engagement is and what it is not in order to yield success 4) Examine how school or after-school program’s environment supports strong staff-family communication

Summary

The lack of parental involvement in student achievement and discipline prevention are a major concern for educators, social workers and other helping professionals; especially in high risk communities. “How do we get parents involved?” is a question most educational and afterschool program struggles with. Not only is it a major task to engage parents but keeping them connected is as equally challenging. Is there a resolution to this problem? The answer is yes. This interactive session will challenge participants to assess their approach when interacting with parents and ask the important question, “How are they showing up when working with parents?” What are their beliefs, feelings, fears and basis that are preventing a true and equal partnership to develop? How we feel about parents, communicate and the way we show up in the relationship can directly impact the outcome. It is believed that parents are highly motivated to attend events that involve free food and incentives. If you “feed” them they will come mentality does not yield true partnerships but temporarily meets the immediate need of the school or afterschool programs. These types of approaches does not motivate parents to become equal partners armed with skills and resources to effectively advocate for their child(ren), these approaches continues to handicap parents preventing them to be viewed as equal partners. This session will address how developing a meaningful and authentic relationship with parents creates a powerful partnership that achieves the desired outcome which is student success. The session will provide participants with tools and strategies used by the Christ Child Society girls empowerment program that successful engaged parents to become equal partners despite their circumstances. Participants will gain insight on how creating a healthy, positive relationship with parents impacts the entire family and community. Research shows that when families take an active interest in their child’s learning, students will have a positive attitude toward school and when children learn best when their parents play a variety of roles in their learning. Participants will receive feedback on their approach and receive affirming tools that will help them create the equal partnership and vibrant learning community they desire.

Evidence

The approach used was cognitive behavior therapy, solution focus, strengthen based, effective black parenting

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Ange Anglade is a Licensed Social Worker, with management and program development skills under her leadership she has accomplished the following: Designed, implemented and provide leadership to a successful girls only program; Girls on The Rise (GOTR) a prevention and empowerment program design to engage at risk girls and their families residing in Southeast DC. The program offers girls various growth-enhancing opportunities, including activities and experiences that promote academic, personal, social, emotional, cultural and recreational development. Using positive youth development principles and a holistic approach, we provide the girls with a safe place where they can grow, learn, have fun and develop confidence in themselves. We also offer literacy, tutorial assistance, health, fitness and leadership opportunities, to help the girls with the vision to plan and the tools to build their future. Our program offers parent advocacy, education support, parenting support to help their daughters become productive citizens.

NOTED SUCCESS

Increased Summer Camp enrollment:
2011- 17 girls attended
2012- 33 girls attended
2013- 50 girls attended
2014- 65 in attendance

After-school
2011-2012 - 8 girls enrolled
2012-2013- 12 girls enrolled
2013-2014- 35 girls enrolled
2014-2015- 39 girls enrolled (98% retention)

Supporting families is a critical part of our program because strong families=a strong and confident child. The success in the program is based on the relationship, trust developed with the parents and the girls.

The family component provides emotional support, assistance, individual, family counseling and material resources when a family is most in need. Parents are motivated to become strong, confident and better advocates for themselves and their children.

The school partnership component provides support to the school Administration and teachers to better serve their students.

Hire, train, supervise, mentor staff and Master Social Work Student Interns. Evaluate program effectiveness, make necessary changes.

LaShaune Lee is a clinical license social work with over 5 years experience working with youth families and adults

Evelyn Vasquez, is the Program Coordinator at Christ Child Society Girls on the Run where she effectively engages parents, and girls.

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-9-2016 11:15 AM

End Date

3-9-2016 12:30 PM

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Mar 9th, 11:15 AM Mar 9th, 12:30 PM

Are You Real? Fake? What's the Deal? Effective Parent Invlovement Requires REALationships

Scarbrough 4

This session is for administrators, teachers, counselors and social workers who are interested in developing true partnerships with parents in order to increase involvement and engagement in student achievement. Afterschool programs and schools are always looking for the “magic” activity that would guarantee interest and increase parental involvement; however often times, they overlook an important element which is how they are showing up in their relationship with parents. This session will challenge participants to look at their communication and relationship with parents, acknowledging their feelings about families and identifying how these feelings help or hinder their work with families. Participants will receive proven strategies and tools that will help them create true partnerships, gain parent support, and increase involvement.

Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to 1) Identify their true feelings and attitudes towards parents 2) Recognize how those feelings and attitudes can have a positive or negative impact on their ability to develop positive relationships with families 3) Have a clear definition of what family engagement is and what it is not in order to yield success 4) Examine how school or after-school program’s environment supports strong staff-family communication