NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED539333
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
Integrating Family Support Services into Schools: Lessons from the Elev8 Initiative. Chapin Hall Issue Brief
D'Angelo, Angela Valdovinos; Rich, Lauren; Kwiatt, Jaclyn
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
A commonly held belief is that children whose families are struggling with poverty--and the housing, health, safety, and other concerns that often go with it--cannot focus on learning unless their nonacademic needs are met. This belief is supported by research showing that the children of poor parents who receive income supplements and other supports tend to do better in school. Consequently, in order to successfully educate low-income children, schools might benefit from finding ways to partner with other organizations in order to improve the well-being of their students' families. However, in practice, schools and their community partners often face significant challenges in accomplishing this objective. This issue brief uses data from Chapin Hall's evaluation of the Elev8 Full-Service Schools Initiative as a case study to reflect on the potential challenges and benefits of offering economic support services to families at schools. The findings suggest that a small group of parents who used the services felt that they helped improve their family's financial well-being. In addition, staff members of the various Elev8 partner organizations reported that a major success was the ability of the economic supports staff to make individual connections to families. However, a number of factors made reaching larger numbers of parents a significant challenge. These included difficulties coordinating school and economic support efforts, as well as parents' concerns about sharing their private information within the school setting. Based on these findings, the authors present recommendations for future efforts to integrate economic support services into schools. These strategies include hiring long-term staff members to build trusting relationships with parents, offering economic support services in conjunction with a broader array of services, ensuring clear lines of communication between partner organizations, and taking steps to ensure parents' privacy. (Contains 9 footnotes.)
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-753-5900; Fax: 773-753-5940; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Identifiers - Location: Illinois