• October 2017
  • Vol. 18, No. 7

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Self-Assessment and Planning Tool for Nonprofits, Schools

Improving family engagement and parent participation in programs serving children is the primary goal of a self-assessment and planning toolkit produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The toolkit, geared toward leaders and staff from family-serving organizations, aims to address challenges to improving family and parental engagement in programs to help youth.

The self-assessment comprises the following four domains, each with its own set of relevant questions:

  • Building a culture of respect, inclusion, and equity: For this domain, questions include, "Does your organization collect, break out, and analyze outcome data by race and ethnicity in programs?", "Are staff culturally, racially, and linguistically representative of the parents and caregivers they work with?", and "Is the relationship between staff and parents mutually respectful?"
  • Coaching parents on competence and confidence: For this domain, questions include, "Does your organization provide training for parents and caregivers on parenting and child development?", "Do you offer opportunities for parents to build their parenting and other skills?", and "Does your organization help facilitate peer groups and support among parents and caregivers through networking opportunities?"
  • Listening to and forming partnerships with parents: For this domain, questions include, "Does your organization offer services during nontraditional hours and provide child care and meals?", "Do you have a parent advisory board?", and "Have your staff been trained on the strengths and challenges of the community you serve?"
  • Partnering with other organizations to serve the whole family: For this domain, questions include, "Do you know the organizations providing parent and caregiver services in your community?", "Do you connect parents and caregivers with requested services that other organizations provide?", and "Do families have ways to easily find and connect with services during and outside of business hours?"

The toolkit also provides instructions on how to assess the results of the questionnaire as well as strategies to improve family and parental engagement in their programs.

Engaging Parents, Developing Leaders: A Self-Assessment and Planning Tool for Nonprofits and Schools is available at http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/AECF-EngagingParentsDevelopingLeaders-2016.pdf (202 KB).

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