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Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Strengthening Families
Toolkit for Educators

Strengthening Families is an approach to working with families to prevent child abuse and neglect that builds upon family strengths, rather than focusing on deficits. It is not a curriculum or a program, but instead offers a framework of five research-based Protective Factors that give parents what they need to parent effectively, even under stress. Click here to access the Toolkit.


Family Friendly Organizations

Family Friendly organizations promote active and sustained collaboration between parents and staff, and among family, school and community partners.

How can you determine whether your school or organization is family friendly?

Parents strongly influence their children’s readiness for and success in school. When parents and the organizations that educate children work together, the results for children can be powerful.

Family friendly schools and organizations affirm families’ contributions to student success at home, in school and in the community and promote family engagement with their children’s education. They build strong connections with families through welcoming environments, effective two-way communication, collaborating with families on decisions regarding children’s education, and speaking up on behalf of every child.

Family Friendly Schools and Organizations:

  • Welcome all family members
  • Encourage effective two way communication
  • Support child development and student learning
  • Promote speaking up for every child
  • Share power
  • Collaborate with constituents and other partners

To learn more about the six standards of a Family Friendly Organization, click here.


PA PIRC Brochure

The PA PIRC brochure describes the services provided to parents, schools and communities. To order copies, please contact the PA PIRC office at (717) 763-1661 or


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Parent Involvement

The evidence is beyond dispute. When parents are actively involved in the education of their children, children do better in school and student achievement increases. A January, 2003 report from the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement reveals that families make critical contributions to student achievement from pre-school through high school; when parents are involved at home, children do better and stay in school longer, and when a critical mass of parents is involved the whole school improves.

For the first time in history of federal education legislation, parent involvement is defined as the “participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring that parents (Title IX General Provisions, Part A Sec 9101):

  • Play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
  • Are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education; and
  • Are full partners in their child’s education.


Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formerly known as No Child Left Behind) is beginning the reauthorization process. The links below list some of the calls for changes in the legislation:




To let others know your school or organization is family friendly, order free Family Friendly posters at

(717) 763-1661 or


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To learn more about how a baby's brain develops and what you can do to enrich a very young child's development check out the Brain Map.