Editorial Introduction: Collaboration and Partnerships with Families and Communities (Editorial)

The ASCA National Model[R] (American School Counselor Association, 2005) emphasizes collaboration with school stakeholders as a central role for school counselors. School counselors are often the first or second point of contact for stakeholders (e.g., parents and community members), and some school counselors rely heavily on community connections for meeting children’s needs. More specifically, the ASCA National Model states that school counselors should provide “proactive leadership, which engages all stakeholders in the delivery of activities and services to help students achieve success in school” (ASCA, p. 17). Effective school counselors work with school stakeholders to promote academic engagement and success, college-going, and youth empowerment. Indeed, school counselors play integral roles in building partnerships with families, schools, and communities that help close achievement gaps, improve short- and long-term outcomes for students, and foster their educational resilience (Bryan, 2005; Bryan & Henry, 2008; Trusty, Mellin, & Herbert, 2008). School-family-community partnerships are collaborative relationships in which school personnel, students, families, community., members, and other stakeholders work jointly and mutually to develop and implement school- and community-based prevention and intervention programs and activities to improve children’s chances of academic, personal/social, career, and college success (Bryan, 2005). Certainly, recognition of the importance of school-family-community partnerships (alternately called school-family-community collaboration or connections or parent involvement) is not new. School-family-community, partnerships have been important components of previous education reform initiatives (e.g., Goals 2000). Moreover, the contributions of partnerships to students’ academic, personal/social, career, and college success have been highlighted in numerous studies (Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Hill et al., 2004; Jeynes, 2005, 2007). The benefits of school-family-community partnerships are numerous for students and their families. School-family-community partnerships engender innovative and comprehensive strategies for facilitating student development and success (Henderson & Mapp; Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies, 2007).

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