2019-12-18 /

Integrative Report on parent and family-focused support to increase educational equality

ISOTIS key message: Successful outreach in parent and family-focused support is based on trusting relationships and tailoring programmes to the needs of the users

This integrative report draws on literature and research findings of ISOTIS studies on parent and family-focused support that aims to foster families’ home learning environment and thereby increase educational equality (Work Package 3). It is based on the finding of a literature review on concepts regarding family support, an inventory of promising programmes in seven European countries, case studies on promising programmes in four European countries, and the creation of an ICT-facilitated parent intervention.

Within these sub-studies, six key topics emerged and were integrated into recommendations for policymakers and programme developers and managers: (1) Family support programmes are confronted with diversity, e.g. regarding target groups, structural and local conditions and objectives of the programmes. This brings up challenges for quality standards and the outreach and implementation quality, and flexibility/adaptability. (2) Successful outreach is based on trusting relationships and tailoring programmes to the needs of the target groups. (3) Implementation quality consists of several components that are essential for programmes’ outcomes. But conflicts between a successful outreach and programme quality became obvious. (4) Programmes often consist of multi-professional teams and paraprofessionals. Therefore, a set of professional standards and a comprehensive system of professional support and development needs to be established. (5) As inter-agency work and the cooperation between institutions can improve service quality and adaptability, resources for the involved coordinators and staff are needed. (6) To develop the potential of ICT-use, an appropriate implementation, ICT training for the professionals, and the parents’ and professionals' beliefs need to be considered.