The concept of “family engagement” varies in meaning in different parts of the world. Our experience demonstrates that refugee parents want to lay a secure foundation for their children’s success, but that they sometimes need additional support, skills, education, and encouragement to do so. For many refugees, early learning and child development concepts, the American system of education, and local school system policies are completely unfamiliar.
Our support for parents begins with culturally appropriate training about early childhood development and continues through activities to help them meet the needs of older children and fully understand their parental rights and obligations in American schools.
- Through Parents as Teachers (PAT), a nationally accredited, evidence-based curriculum, we help parents of very young children understand child development, promote literacy, access early learning programs, and become effective teachers and advocates. PAT’s mission is to provide the information, support and encouragement that parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of their lives. One of PAT’s core principals is based on the notion that parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers. PAT educators support refugee parents in being the best teachers they can be.
- We provide School Liaison Services for parents of older students – who often need help understanding and navigating school systems and connecting with their children – as well as for educators who need help successfully connecting with refugee parents. While the School Liaison program works as a link between the families and the schools, the school liaisons often serve as cultural brokers, who help the parents get familiarized with the concepts that may feel very foreign.
In partnership with DeKalb County Human Services.