Moderator Pick
May 18th, 2020

A FAMILY APPROACH TO SEL

Families are being impacted by Covid-19 in many ways including but not limited to, social/emotionally, economically, and medically. In order to best serve and reach our students, we need to know how our families are doing by assessing their needs. With that, we need to survey parents/guardians in all ways possible (manual calls, texts, email, mail) and generate aligned community resource lists and information including direct points of contact. We also need to coordinate with community resource agencies and utilize both resource and school staff to facilitate connections between parents and these resources to support and eliminate family stressors.

Once family data is obtained - you can identify your most impacted families and create Individualized Family Plans (like an IEP) that includes a family case plan, goals/objectives that address family needs, services, case management, student education needs, tech and communication needs, and follow up to meet goals and minimize stressors.

Home visits (using social distancing measures) may need to occur with families most at risk and isolated. This in turn will require appropriate PPE for those conducting home visits and clearly written safety measures for both staff and families. The data obtained will also inform us how to best approach and support the family (in person, by phone, or electronically).

As we consider levels of family risk - we can also generate a list of risks and identify them & their interventions utilizing a 3 tiered approach -(similar to our RTI and PBIS approach). Risk factors might include: family member tested positive for Covid, Covid death in family, loss of job, loss of home, no phone, no internet access, no device, loss of medical insurance, etc.) Interventions would align with and support the identified risks.

When we take this approach, we address the family and work to minimize their stress. This in turn, allows us to access our students, minimize their stress, and allows us to teach them and their families healthy SEL habits and practices that can be utilized at home, as individuals and as a family. It will take outreach to make these connections.
In support - please see the following: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/07/family-engagement-and-sel https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/16/05/building-success-home It will also be helpful to develop an AT HOME SEL model reflecting what each SEL competency look like at home.

() |
Comments (2)

Comments (2)

Love the model you put forward to respond to and support family needs. We have been reaching out to families individually in a variety of ways, as well as hosting a weekly virtual 'coffee' meeting to provide information and respond to questions. Because of relationships we've built before crisis we can respond to those families who have struggled with illness or other challenges more seamlessly. Also, as you alluded to, parents (myself included) set the mood for their children and in these times even the most privileged are experiencing a roller coaster of emotions and challenges, so this tiered support model is helpful in prioritizing time, energy, and resources to reach the most vulnerable. So great to hear and learn from other schools doing the work!

()
| Reply

Thank you for advocating for the families, Suzanne, and for this perspective. I used to be a coordinator for Early Start (0-3) Early Intervention home services and your thoughts here resonate with the principles of that approach: family centered, strengths based, relationship focused approach. It is a shift for K-12 but the "how can we support you at home?" is key. And, a tiered response model, as you described, is a helpful way of organizing our supports. I had not seen the resources you shared. I love the family engagement and SEL one particularly.

()
| Reply