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0-12 - Engaging community stakeholders
 

Engage students' families and homes, service agencies, youth-serving organizations, local businesses, faith-based institutions, and other community resources to enhance school health, mental health, and safety programs.

   
Rationale
 

Schools are one element in a community that can help families keep children safe and healthy as well as promote their learning and citizenship skills. As schools do not and should not have sole responsibility for students' health, mental health, and safety, the support of families and community agencies is essential for school programs.

   
Commentary
 

Schools often have insufficient resources to provide a comprehensive and multifaceted continuum of interventions. By having direct contact with families and key informants in the community, schools are better able to identify barriers to student success and well-being and better equipped to develop solutions that overcome these barriers. Schools can enhance home-school links by sharing concerns with families and developing solutions that address students' unique needs.

In addition to the benefits for students' education and well-being, students' families, and school staff, there are reciprocal benefits for community agencies who partner with schools. Businesses, the justice system, community health and safety systems, and others may benefit from a healthier population. Community agencies and organizations that provide services to children and families often gain a more visible profile when they become partners with schools.

Examples of neighborhood stakeholders in student health and well-being are students themselves, as well as their families and teachers. Other school staff, community business owners, police, faith-based institutions, universities and colleges, local health departments, health and mental health service providers, dentists, emergency medical services, educators of first-aid, departments of health, justice, education and social services, and other agencies that serve families have stakes in the well-being of the student population and school staff. Communicate regularly with partners and potential partners in order to learn what each has to offer.

   
REFERENCES
 

Adelman HS. Intervening to enhance home involvement in schooling. Intervention in School and Clinic. 1994;29:276-287.

Carlyon P, Carlyon W, McCarthy AR. Family and community involvement in school health. In: Marx E, Wooley SF, eds. Health Is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs. New York, NY: Teachers College Press; 1998:67-95.

Comer JP, ed. Rallying the Whole Village: The Comer Process for Reforming Education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press; 1996.

Epstein JL, Hollifield JH. Title I and school-family-community partnerships: using research to realize the potential. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk. 1996;1:263-278.

National Association of Partners in Education. Seven Stage Partnership Development Process: Creating, Managing and Sustaining School-Community Business Partnerships. 901 N. Pitt Street, Suite 320, Alexandria, Virginia. 2001.

Sheridan SM. Best Practice in fostering school/community relationships. In: Thomas A, Grimes J, eds. Best Practices in School Psychology - III. Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists; 1995:203-212.

Zetlin A, Ramos C, Valdez A. Integrating services in a school-based center: an example of a school-community collaboration. J Community Psychol. 1996;24:97-107.

 
          
 
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