Caring Adult Relationships
Increase the number and quality of caring adult relationships in students’ lives.
Caring adult relationships promote positive academic, behavioral, and psychological development so that youth can succeed in school and life. Stable, trusting relationships provide important social support so that youth can graduate high school. A web of caring adults includes parents, family members, school counselors, teachers, school staff, social workers, youth workers, national service members, volunteers, and coaches.
- Social support includes emotional, informational, evaluation, and instrumental assistance. Each of these plays a specific role for a young person’s development, but emotional (love and care) and instrumental (actions like providing a bus pass, a meal, a ride, or babysitting) acting in tandem are most likely to increase the number of students graduating without interruption.
- Research shows that recruiting and training caring adults from diverse backgrounds leads to better outcomes for students of color.
- Partnering with AmeriCorps and other direct service providers leverages outside resources to bring more caring adults into schools.
- High-quality professional development opportunities on mentoring, cultural competency, and active listening can prepare teachers and other professionals so that they are best equipped to be caring adults.
- Parents and families living in poverty also need extra support to be involved in their student's education and support them at school and at home.