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.