The key indicators of authentic engagement of residents and families in community change efforts.
The minefields, roadblocks, missed opportunities and wrong turns that weaken or prevent engagement.
Promising approaches to resident and family engagement, including Time Dollar programs, study and neighborhood circles, and community living rooms, as well as use of neighborhood projects, mini-grant funds, parent leadership development and community organizing/family advocacy strategies.
How to put a range of resident, family and parent engagement strategies strategies together, and where to go to learn more.
This report, a resource guide created for the Casey Foundation’s Making Connections initiative, offers strategies for connecting residents and families living in isolated neighborhoods to social networks, services, supports, jobs and opportunities. Residents are encourged to engage together for collective action to improve their communities. The guide provides examples of promising approaches and resources for cultivating and sustaining resident engagement, family-friendly places and leadership development.
Resident engagement efforts work best when grounded in guiding principles.
Findings & Stats
Levels of Resident Engagement
It is important that families have access to levels of engagement that help meet basic needs, create connections to formal and informal support networks, and build collective community action.
Avoid pitfalls like token parent representation at decision-making tables; inadequate or inflexible funding; too many meetings; lack of attention to families; and reliance on jargon that parents don't understand.
Statements & Quotations
Resident and family engagement by definition constitutes a promise. Whether our promise is explicit or tacit, we agree to be present at a specified time and place and we bind ourselves with our pledge to be actively involved. This commitment is carried out over time. Ours is not a casual, fleeting engagement; it is meant to be long-lasting and significant. In communities that are often the victims of lofty promises by zealous do-gooders, we must not underestimate the importance of our promises.
Often parents share their stories; they bare their souls. People cry, they come to their feet, they want to save the poor parent, but all too often the parents get nothing from it. Parents need to leave with something. Parents need to have a game plan. They need to know what they want from the experience, they should have a card, and they should network. Parents should be paid for their time, and paid equitably. After all, parents are the glue for a lot of people’s work. People love you, but what does that get you? What are the benefits for being a parent leader? Who is willing to pay a parent leader a real salary? People need to attach resources to these conversations