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Advancing Meaningful Youth and Family Engagement - Professor Mark Weist

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Presentation slides from the Hunter Institute's recent Youth Mental Health: Engaging Schools and Families event with Professor Mark Weist. For more info visit www.himh.org.au

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Advancing Meaningful Youth and Family Engagement - Professor Mark Weist

  1. 1. AdvancingMeaningfulYouthandFamily EngagementinSchoolMentalHealth Mark D. Weist, University of South Carolina Christina Pate and LeoraWolf-Prusan,WestED Hunter Institute of Mental Health, July 13, 2017
  2. 2. “Expanded” School Mental Health (SMH)  Full continuum of effective mental health promotion and intervention for students in general and special education  Reflecting a “shared agenda” involving school-family-community system partnerships  Collaborating community professionals (not outsiders) augment the work of school-employed staff
  3. 3. Advantages  Improved access  Improved early identification/intervention  Reduced barriers to learning, and achievement of valued outcomes  WHEN DONEWELL
  4. 4. But  SMH programs and services continue to develop in an ad hoc manner, and  LACK AN IMPLEMENTATION STRUCTURE
  5. 5. Positive Behavioral Interventions andSupports (PBIS)  In 23,000 plus schools  Decision making framework to guide selection and implementation of best practices for improving academic and behavioral functioning  Data based decision making  Measurable outcomes  Evidence-based practices  Systems to support effective implementation
  6. 6. Advantages  Promotes effective decision making  Reduces punitive approaches  Improves student behavior  Improves student academic performance  WHEN DONEWELL
  7. 7. But  Many schools implementing PBIS lack resources and struggle to implement effective interventions atTiers 2 and 3  View student issues through lens of “behavior”
  8. 8. POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS AND SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH
  9. 9. School Mental Health International Leadership Exchange (SMHILE)  Emphasis on building collective knowledge on leadership and implementation foundations for effective prevention and mental health promotion in schools
  10. 10. SMHILE: Five Critical Themes for the Advancement ofGlobal School Mental Health  1) Cross-sector collaboration in building systems of care  2) Meaningful youth and family engagement  3)Workforce development and mental health literacy  4) Implementation of evidence-based practices  5) Ongoing monitoring and quality assurance
  11. 11. Interactive Exercise: Your Experience in School • Then, answer these questions: • For better or worse… • What made a difference to you when you were in a school? • What motivated you to learn? What de-motivated you? • What adults made you know you mattered? • How did you know? What did the adults do to make you feel that way? • Other things that made a difference? First, turn to a person near you that you don’t know and introduce yourself • Name • Organization • Role
  12. 12. Cultural Inflection Point Adult/Staff Student/Family
  13. 13. Discussion  What efforts are you engaged in to improve family engagement in schools? In school mental health efforts?  What is working?  What challenges are being experienced?
  14. 14. Definition of FE  Family engagement is an active, interactive, dynamic, and ongoing process in which family members and key stakeholders engage as equal partners in decision- making, planning, and implementation to support children and adolescents across settings
  15. 15. KeyThemes  Realities  Aspirations  Outcomes  General Recommendations  Recommendations forTiers 1, 2 and 3  Relevant Policies/Resources (mostly in US)
  16. 16. Realities  Most contact from schools to families is negative  Families waiting for supportive communication and actions from schools that often does not come  Family engagement remains important, but often declines as students get older  Structural issues of high schools (e.g., walled off departments, emphasis on content, academic pressure) mitigate against FE  THOUGHTS?TRUE INYOURWORLD OR NO?
  17. 17. Realities (2)  Challenging behavior associated with reduced FE, which in turn worsens behavior and contributes to negative spiraling  FE may be limited to children and youth in special education, and tokenism and/or adversarial relationships are common  School systems often do not support families with diverse needs and schedules that are not aligned with a typical school schedule  Need to move beyond “random acts of engagement” by schools  THOUGHTS?
  18. 18. Realities (3)  School-centric stance toward FE (e.g., one way communication, “getting parent buy-in”)  Power differential between schools and families -- real and frequently demonstrated  Frequent cop-outs to avoid FE (e.g., “families too busy,” “they can’t review data,” “they’re not really interested”)  THOUGHTS?
  19. 19. Aspirations  Need for practices that are “respectful, flexible, and responsive” and treat families with “dignity”  Students and family members should be “full, equal and meaningful participants” with school and district personnel in all efforts  We are “now at a cultural inflection point that recognizes the power of service recipients (students and families), shifting the view from them being receptacles of care to empowered partners in their own wellness and accomplishment”  THOUGHTS?
  20. 20. Outcomes/ Logic Model/ Challenge  FE improves student connectedness to school; MTSS efforts; teacher effectiveness; student social, emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning; and contributes to student graduation and subsequent success  There are significant individual and societal costs for students not doing well in school; hence, there are significant individual and societal costs for not focusing on FE in schools  DISCUSSION:GIVENTHESE FACTS,WHY DO EFFORTSTO PROMOTE FE IN SCHOOLSAND SMH REMAIN SO LIMITED?
  21. 21. General Recommendations  With families defined in the broadest sense involve them significantly and as partners in work at all tiers  Develop and implement accountability mechanisms to assure all school staff are involved in effective FE  Consider common barriers to FE and with families develop strategies to overcome them  Use plain, jargon-free language and assure that messages associated with SMH make sense to everyday life  THOUGHTS?
  22. 22. Tier 1 Recommendations  Families should be strongly involved in all school-wide functions, events and celebrations  Create a culture of families being welcome in the school throughout the day  Having frequent positively-focused communication with all families and genuine two-way exchanges of information  Have pictures of families from diverse cultures in classrooms; develop a parent information center with a range of materials in relevant languages; have family leaders wear “ask me about SMH” buttons
  23. 23. Tier 1 Recommendations (2)  Include diverse information on promoting student mental health and wellness, and common emotional/behavioral concerns in different formats and locations in the school  Conduct mental health promotion workshops for families  Broadly publicize school events for families, and have clear signs and markers to help them get there  With family input, develop and broadly disseminate school/community resource guides, and calendars of relevant events  THOUGHTS?
  24. 24. Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations  Strive to eliminate deficit language in describing student/family concerns  Actively involvement family members in developingTier 2 and 3 supports and interventions  Involve families in problem solving and developing strategies to address challenging behavior  Openly discuss barriers to families receiving intervention, and problem-solve on methods to reduce barriers  THOUGHTS?
  25. 25. What isStudentVoice?  Youth leadership  Youth participation  Youth engagement  Youth decision-making  Youth empowerment  OTHERS? Many relevant constructs
  26. 26. Ladder of Student Involvement
  27. 27. Interactive Discussion  Using Hart’s Ladder, what scores would you give to the schools, SMH programs you have a connection to?  Why are the scores so low?  What would it take to move the scores up to 5 or above?  How can positive approaches to encourage student voice be amplified?
  28. 28. Student Listening Circle
  29. 29. Advocacy Organizations  In the US, there are a number of family and youth advocacy organizations, e.g., Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH), NationalAlliance on Mental Illness,Youth Move, Mental Health America  FFCMH Motto: “Nothing about us without us”  QUESTIONS:What are the key family and youth advocacy organizations in New Castle? How do schools typically connect to these organizations? How could these connections be enhanced?
  30. 30. Interactive Discussion  How are your efforts helping to move youth and family engagement (YFE) strategies beyond “tokenism”?  In your country or region, what are the prominent practice, research and policy initiatives occurring to advance meaningful YFE in school mental health (SMH)?  How can SMHILE promote collaboration within and across nations to advanceYFE in SMH?
  31. 31. Importance of Relationships in Change There will never be enough laws, policies, processes, documents, etc. to force change Change is best realized through the relationships we build with those people and groups that have a common interest toward solving a persistent problem or seizing an opportunity Bill East, Joanne Cashman, National Association of State Directors of Special Education
  32. 32. Systematic Agenda Relationships
  33. 33. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, 2007
  34. 34. Leading by Convening Creating conditions for groups with common interests to be actively engaged and move from discussion to dialogue to collaboration to policy improvement and enhanced resources JoanneCashman & Bill East, NationalAssociation of State Directors of Special Education (2014)
  35. 35. Communities of Practice “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (p.4) Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder,W.M. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston: Harvard Business School
  36. 36. PCORI Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute PCORI believes that combining patients and other stakeholders’ individual experiences and passion for improving healthcare quality with the expertise of researchers will result in research that better meets the needs of the entire healthcare community
  37. 37. April 27-28, 2017 Myrtle Beach, SC Moving Toward Exemplary and High Impact School Behavioral Health • Improving Collaboration among Families, Educators, Clinicians and other Youth-System Staff • School-Wide Approaches for Prevention and Intervention • Improving the Quality of Services • Increasing Implementation Support • Enhancing Cultural Humility and Reducing Racial, Ethnic, and Other Disparities
  38. 38. SSBHC Next Conference: Myrtle Beach, April 18-20, 2018
  39. 39. Community for Family Engagement in Education (COFEE)  Build a community of practice focused on developing research, practice and policy agendas related to FEE in schools  Identify and further develop model demonstration sites and publicize the experience of these sites  Initial meeting, September 13-14, 2017, University ofWisconsin-Madison
  40. 40. Thank you! Mark Weist weist@sc.edu Christina Pate cpate@wested.org Leora Wolf-Prusan lwolfpr@wested.org

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