How Halton professionals help families adapt to challenges
At the Our Kids Network Annual Meeting last November we celebrated families. The Halton professionals who attended the event shared their stories about successes and challenges in supporting families to be strong and resilient. They talked about building Family Assets®, explored survey results from the *Halton Youth Parent Survey and told us how their agencies are working to help families adapt to challenges.
Below is a sampling of the some of the ways Halton professionals are working to help families adapt to challenges:
- Supporting parents in having conversations about stressors at home with children
- Building strong relationships with other professionals
- Meeting families in their homes – home visits
- Linking families to community services and/or workshops
- Continuing to outreach to reach those who don’t use our programs and services
- Customizing responses to better meet the needs of the family
- Being in the community to get to know the community and other programs
- Linking families to services
- Making data accessible
- Being empathetic with families and walking in their shoes
- Building confidence in our clients
- Having an open door with families
- Reassure families that someone is there for you
- Letting clients know that we’re in this together – supporting strong relationships
- Building a strong network
- Building on community strengths
- Appropriate referrals
- Making families comfortable to come back
- Making families aware of services
Family Assets are the everyday interactions, values, skills and relationships families can focus on to help them thrive. The Search Institute developed Family Assets using comprehensive research and building on the Developmental Assets that related to youth.
Search Institute’s Family Assets study shows that Family Assets are linked to positive outcomes for both parents and kids. The more Family Assets a family has, the better off they are – regardless of family income, parent education level, immigration status, relationship to child or living arrangement. Kids from families with more assets are more likely to do well in school, develop close relationships with others, and are more likely to participate in healthy activities
OKN’s Halton Youth Parent Survey (HYPS) measures Family Assets
OKN’s 2013 Halton Youth Parent Survey (HYPS) asked parents about issues related to parenting today. All parents of Grade 7 and Grade 10 students in the Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board were invited to participate, and we heard from 1762 parents. Topics included school climate, bullying and/or harassment, parenting challenges and parenting supports. The survey also measured 5 categories of Family Assets.
Parents need help adapting to challenges
The majority of parents surveyed had very high levels of Family Assets. This was especially true for Maintaining Expectations, Establishing Routines, and Nurturing Relationships. But we also found some opportunities for improvement – Family Asset categories decreased in all categories from Grade 7 to Grade 10 as children transitioned into secondary school. Adapting to Challenges saw the largest decrease from Grade 7 to Grade 10, going from 79% to 66%. This means that parents of youth in grade 10 tended to report doing less of things like:
- Helping with their child’s school work
- Solving a problem together with their child when they disagreed about something
- Asking their child where they are going and what they are planning to do
Everyone in the community benefits from strong families. On the Family Assets webpage of the OKN website you can find more ideas and resources for how we can all work together to better connect to and support families.
*The 2013 Halton Youth Parent Survey was completed by parents of Grade 7 and 10 students in January and February of 2013. The overall response rate was 14%. The results include a total of 1056 parents of Grade 7 students and 706 parents of Grade 10 students, with a total sample size of 1762 parents.