Making Sure Families and Caregivers are Included

SEL is a powerful tool for ensuring your school community is welcoming and inclusive, and that community includes students’ families and caregivers. To help your school explore how families and caregivers can be included, the CASEL Authentic Partnership with Families and Caregivers tool helps your school to assess and guide authentic partnerships with them.

The tool provides a series of statements across three categories – Communication, Environment, and Partnership and Leadership – which you can tick if you agree with. In the right-hand column, there is space for you to write down how you know the statement to be true, and what action you will take next. This process will highlight areas for improvement – the boxes not ticked – in ensuring that your school community is a welcoming and inclusive environment for the families and caregivers of your students.

For further insight, and to gain the views of the families and caregivers themselves, you could also make use of the Family Survey about Current SEL at School. Available in English and Spanish, the survey takes a similar form to the staff survey mentioned earlier, and includes a draft letter that you can adapt for your school to inform families and caregivers about its purpose.

The survey will take families around 20 minutes to complete, and takes parents and caregivers through a series of statements about SEL as it relates to their child’s experiences of your school. They are asked to state the degree to which they agree with each statement. The survey then moves on to statements that apply to both the respondent and their child, and then to the respondent’s own perceptions of SEL and how involved they feel with it themselves.

When these responses are collated and compared with the results of using the partnerships tool, you should end up with a clear picture of the way parents and caregivers currently view SEL in your school and how well you are doing at involving them. You will also be able to identify areas with room for improvement and refer back to the goal-setting tool to help you turn these insights into actionable goals.

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