360 Communities contracted with the University of Minnesota’s CAREI to conduct an evaluation of our Partners For Success® program. 10 schools in 6 school districts were involved in the evaluation.

Year two evaluation results were extremely positive. A comparison of students’ fall 2010 to spring 2011 MAP reading scores showed that all students made progress. Half of the students met or exceeded their growth targets – and almost half of that group exceeded their growth targets by over 200%. In all, 88% of the students in the evaluation met, exceeded or came close to their reading growth targets.

The relationship between a family support worker and a family is special. Family support workers gain trust with families who typically are not engaged in their child’s school or who have other family needs.

Family support workers are able to assist families with a variety of help and support while at the same time communicating important messages from teachers about strategies that parents can do at home to support their child in the classroom. A comparison of parents’ pre-post questionnaire responses shows that working with a family support worker does have a statistically significant effect on parents regarding how often they use educational materials at home and talk with a family support worker about their child’s educational progress. Below are several quotes that speak to the unique and important relationships that are built.

Parent’s Perspective

“[The family support worker] gives me a call to just tell me, ‘you know I checked in with your child’s teachers, they’re really proud with how well you’re doing with reading with the girls at home’. So again, it was another kind of boost for me, just giving me confidence that they think I’m doing good. It’s frustrating as a parent when your kids aren’t doing very good. It makes you feel like a failure, too.”-Parent
“[The family support worker] helps me a lot if my child is a little bit behind in one subject or something. She helps me and guides me to be able to help my child. It’s easier for me to communicate with her about whatever happens because she speaks my language, Spanish. She’s a really good person; she has helped us out a lot.” -Parent

Teacher’s Perspective

“I think it’s the best thing we’ve had. I hope this [program] can continue. There is something about the relationship that is built when she [the family support worker] is on site. It’s so good and wonderful. We love her! She has been a life link for these families and it’s nice to be able to have somebody beyond myself to make those connections. She is connecting the dots whether it’s getting food to a family. For these families it’s exactly what’s needed. The home visits have been so good. She is able to assess the situation. She lets me know what I can do to help.” -Teacher

Our Perspective

“I encourage people a lot. The key is the relationship. That’s my purpose, to get parents involved and engaged with their children. If they’re not strong enough to do that then I try to help strengthen them.” -Family Support Worker

Read the full CAREI report here>Download CAREI Report