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Transcripts of Selected Group Discussions on CYC-Net

Since it's founding in 1997, the CYC-Net discussion group has been asked thousands of questions. These questions often generate many replies from people in all spheres of the Child and Youth Care profession and contain personal experiences, viewpoints, as well as recommended resources.

Below are some of the threads of discussions on varying Child and Youth Care related topics.

Questions and Responses have been reproduced verbatim.

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Parental engagement programmes linked to improving attainment?

I am an education consultant working in the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland; the role of the education programme within CELCIS is to work with the Scottish Government, Local Authorities and other stakeholders to improve educational outcomes for young people who are looked after.

We have identified parent and carer involvement in education as a priority area for the coming year and would be interested to know if anyone is aware of parental engagement or involvement programmes that specifically aim to improve a child’s engagement with education or improve attainment? I have carried out some basic literature searching on the topic and it is becoming clear that it is an area where there are few examples of robust studies that can prove that parental engagement or involvement is a causal factor in improved engagement or attainment, although it is shown to correlate.

I’d be really interested to know if anyone knows either of any peer reviewed research or studies that are relevant or any examples of programmes at a school or community level that practitioners have been involved in or are aware of?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Best Wishes


An area of practice and research that does not often seem to be included in our work as CYCs is the growing developments in Restorative Practices and Family Group Conferencing. I would suggest these locations and persons to contact where there is substantial involvement with families and parents to support active engagement in the lives of their children:

1. New Zealand; Family Group Conferencing; Mike Hinton. This model has been in use and part of both Child Welfare and Youth Justice legislation since the 1980's. Typically there is growth and applications to other areas as part of the ecology of child development e.g parents and school.

2. Hull and Leeds, U.K; Mark Finnis; These are cities that have declared themselves "Restorative" cities with Hull being the first.

3. Belinda Hopkins; U.K;; She has used the model in both schools and also worked with residential programs.

All of these may very likely be able to direct to research that may bear on your research.

Rick Kelly

Hi Linda,

I am not sure whether you have already looked at the Lemmer,Meier and Van Wyk(2006), Dempsey (2005) and Graham-Clay (2005).The literature seems older but I would probably assume that Articles might have been developed.When I was doing my Masters with UWC,I conducted a research on "Challenges illiterate parents experience to support their children's education" and I found valuable information.There is also some literature in the work of Madecha,Saman and Hofsa (2014)The latter emphasized the significance of role played by parental situations to develop further their children's education.

Barrington Makunga

I think parent skills enhancement is an area that needs more research. I work with young people who have been removed from their families by family services, and often we seem them return to their homes where nothing has changed in the home and the parents coping skills are not any different then when they were removed in the first place and often behaviors in the young people begin again and there is not additional means on the parents behalf for coping with them. our organization is putting some effort into being able to provide parenting skills enhancement programs on a volunteer basis, via training facilitators in “Handle With Care” a program designed to promote emotional well being and positive mental health in young people by teaching coping mechanisms and enhanced emotional awareness and development stages of young people {including those who have experienced early childhood trauma} we are in prelim stages, but I would like to keep tabs on unification stats after the program has been implemented.

Sarah Greenslade

Hi Linda,

I found this article by searching "parent involvement and child education".'s_Academic_Achievement_Pragmatics_and_Issues/links/54ad4c770cf24aca1c6ef8cb.pdf

The article may not be exactly what you are looking for but the reference list at the end may lead you to more sources.
I hope this helps.


Hi Linda:

This link is to an article that mentions a Families and Schools Together Program (FAST). Our agency has been part of assisting Elementary Schools in our community to facilitate this program. It has been our observation that this program benefitted the children and families that attended to feel more connected with their school. Parents and their children felt increased comfortability with the school and school staff as they spent time with teachers and Principals having meals together once per week for the duration of the program. This program provided an environment for the parents to connect with the teachers and agency professionals and discuss any issues or areas where they may want/need support, for example parenting strategies. Some of this support The children seemed to place a higher importance on school having spent time with their parents in the school having meals and playing together. In addition to the benefits to the children and families the school staff were able to get to know the families better and gain a better understanding of where the families were at and how they could best support their strengths.



You might want to contact the Centre for Excellence for Child & Youth Mental Health in Ottawa......they specialize in youth engagement and parental engagement


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