Engaging and Strengthening Families
Search Institute builds bridges between youth development, education, and family development. Understanding the impact of family relationships and strengths on young people’s development is core to our work. We also seek to advance fresh perspectives on engaging, educating, and supporting families based on their core strengths.
Search Institute builds bridges between youth development, education, and family development. Understand the impact of family relationships and strengths on young people’s development is core to our work. We also seek to advance fresh perspectives on engaging, educating, and supporting families based on their core strengths.
Keep Connected: Strengthening Families by Strengthening Relationships
Search Institute partnered with six community partners across two years to design and test Keep Connected, a family engagement and education resource focused on strengthening family relationships during the middle school years.
Keep Connected is based on Search Institute’s research on family strengths and the framework of developmental relationships. Focus groups with youth and parents who participated in Keep Connected offers initial evidence that the program enhances parent-youth relationships; family communication; youth responsibility and motivation; and the creation of a supportive community of families.
Keep Connected is now available to schools and other community organizations. Participation in the Keep Connected Institute for Strengthening Family Relationships is the first step in getting started with the program.
Funding partner: The Altria Group
Engaging and Strengthening Families to Enhance Student Motivation in School
Families play a vital role in student motivation. Search Institute is working with two Minnesota schools to design and test strategies for engaging families aligned with the relationship-based approach to student motivation, the REACH System. Across two years, Search Institute is conducting listening sessions with parents and youth, family events and tools, and opportunities for parents and youth to participate together in the Keep Connected family engagement program.
Funding Partner: Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
Related Research and Resources
- Review completed studies and research-based publications on families
- Learn more about Keep Connected, Search Institute’s family engagement resource.
- Access training opportunities for family-serving professionals and for parents.