Youth placed in rehabilitation centers or foster care due to abuse, parental neglect or behavioral problems are more likely to experience difficulties in school. One notable barrier is the difficulty of bridging the gap between school and parents. By means of a systematic review and consultation with school-family-community (SFC) experts, the goal of the synthesis was to review best practices in SFC and contextualize them to the issues and needs in practice.
According to the studies reviewed, the effectiveness of certain SFC interventions—such as tutoring, co-reading and kindergarten preparation programs—is well supported and suggests that they should be implemented more broadly with children in care, particularly in foster care. However, school involvement in these interventions remains generally low, except in cases where the program is designed to meet broader needs, particularly those of teenagers with behavioural problems. Interventions focusing on socialization or that value the expertise of school staff on multidisciplinary tables could be good avenues.
Of course, the results of evaluative studies on this topic are still too mixed or too few to understand the effectiveness of these interventions. Furthermore, they do not identify the mechanisms and conditions that foster the establishment of fruitful collaborations between the actors of the ecosystem. In sum, given the limited place occupied by schools in interventions targeting SFC collaboration for children in care, solutions are proposed based on the studies reviewed and the issues and needs identified in practice.
Isabelle Archambault, Université de Montréal
Deposit of the research report: July 2022