Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Family Resource Packs

In the counseling office we have over 60 of these Family Resource Packs that were created by the counselors or other student services staff at my school. The one pictured is on adoption. We keep track of common issues parents consult with us about and if it becomes a frequent topic we develop a resource pack that includes a binder with an overview, lists and copies of good articles, web sites/blogs on the topic, and Apps. When appropriate we include ideas for activities that promote a parent - child exchange about the topic. All the packs contain at least one book for parents to read and one for the students. There is an evaluation form for parents and one for students in each pack. We ask parents to return them in 2 weeks. we track the sign outs and submit an evaluation of this effort every few years to the Counseling Advisory Committee.
For some of the topics we develop a primary and upper elementary pack (e.g., anger). For some we have several packs because they represent slightly different issues and need different strategies and books. We have multiple packs for anxiety: Anxiety (general), Anxiety (primary), Anxiety (separation), Anxiety (upper), Social anxiety, Perfectionism, and Selective Mutism. 
These resources save many hours each quarter - we are not repeating the same information to parents. Our learning community has very educated parents but reading is not everyone's preferred learning mode. We have to be respectful that this resource is not going to help all parents. We began this initiative by writing a mini grant with our PTA. It took close to 5 years to develop the 60+ packs we have now. We originally developed 5-8 a year and now usually add 1-2 and update the resources in 5 a year.

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