When launching and operating SBHCs, it is important that leaders reach out to families and community members. This page provides resources to help you build and maintain these relationships.
At many of the SBHCs in middle and high schools, youth are the primary stakeholders. Youth engagement enhances quality and operations of SBHCs and is an opportunity for young people to become empowered about their health. Check out our youth engagement resources.
SBHCs and other school health providers strive to respond to the needs and circumstances of their communities and clients. For this reason, cultural humility and language access are critical issues in school health programs. These resources can help school health programs provide culturally appropriate, linguistically accessible care and services.
Caring Across Communities & Cultures
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools offers resources and research on cultural competence in health programs at schools. These resources include:
Culturally Responsive Resources and Practices
Critical Race Theory (CRT) offers a valuable framework on racial equity, and addresses ways to mitigate risks of harm in marginalized communities. The Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation provides a toolkit of cultural responsive practices and policies that promote equity and inclusion.
“Culture Clues” Tip Sheets
Culture Clues ™ are tip sheets for clinicians designed to increase awareness about concepts and preferences of patients from diverse cultures. Culture Clues were created by the Patient and Education Family Services at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Promoting language and cultural competence to improve the quality of health care for minority, immigrant, and ethnically diverse communities, Diversity Rx provides information on models and practices, policy, legal issues, networking and resources for policymakers, health care providers, and consumer representatives.
Ethnic Medicine Information
The EthnoMed website of the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and other related issues pertinent to the health care of recent immigrants to the United States, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.
VISIONS, Inc., a nationwide multicultural training and consulting nonprofit, provides organizations and youth development programs with resources on youth leadership through its Youth Engagement Strategies (YES!) Kit. With a multi-cultural lens and a focus on anti-racism and racial equity, the YES! Kit equips organizations and facilitators with a variety activities, trainings, and projects that support youth development and empowerment. The YES! Kit can be purchased through VISIONS, Inc.
Toolkits to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Care
Research has documented the persistent gaps in health care quality that affect Americans from specific racial and ethnic backgrounds.
This toolkit created by the L.A. Care Health Plan is designed specifically for health care providers to better serve culturally diverse patients. It includes information and tips on various cultural backgrounds to improve communication with patients.
Meeting the Needs of Patients with Limited English
A new Commonwealth Fund report, “Providing Language Services in Small Health Care Provider Settings: Examples from the Field“, shows how a number of community health centers around the country have found creative methods for meeting the needs of patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). The report includes an eight-step plan to help providers develop a strategy to meet the needs of their LEP patients and the community.
Developed by the Center for Community Learning and University of South Florida, this toolkit provides implementation strategies and practices that can be used in healthcare services and settings. This toolkit is meant to improve quality of care and increase health equity through holistically, culturally, and linguistically appropriate services.
Another resource comes from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in their tenth chapter of the English Learner Tool Kit, this toolkit provides information on how to better engage families with limited English proficiency and how to better integrate them into student learning.
School-based health centers are most effective when they actively engage families and communities in their efforts to support student health and success. These resources are offer best practices for engaging parent and community allies.
A Facilitator’s Guide to Improving Family Involvement in Schools
This tool, developed by UC Davis, provides a framework for strengthening parent leadership and involvement in school-community partnerships. The module’s guidebook promotes an on-going process of support and leadership skill-building that draws upon life stories as a strategy to unleash parent’s potential as leaders. The module includes a guidebook, a resource packet, and a CD developed for facilitators and instructors who provide parent leadership training. The module targets primarily Latino communities, but may be used to enhance leadership skills for all parents. For more information, visit the UC Davis website.
CDC: Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health. This resource defines and describes parent engagement and identifies specific strategies and actions that schools can take to increase parent engagement in school health activities. This document was developed in collaboration with expert researchers, public health practitioners, and educators.
Community Engagement in Public Health
Community Engagement in Public Health introduces a conceptual framework for community engagement in public health, highlighting real examples from Contra Costa County in Northern California. It presents the Ladder of Community Participation as a way to illustrate a range of approaches that can be used to engage communities around both traditional and emerging public health issues. The paper is geared toward local health departments and the arguments apply to school health centers as well.
Families as Partners
The National School Boards Association has published, Family as Partners: Fostering Family Engagement for Healthy and Successful Students, a resource to help school leaders effectively engage families in schools, particularly around school health issues. Families as Partners includes an overview of family engagement in schools as well as guidance, strategies, and resources for developing and implementing successful family engagement policies and practices.
Parent Engagement Electronic Toolkit
Moving Beyond Parent Involvement to Parent Engagement is a toolkit designed by the Michigan Department of Education and gives concrete examples and rubrics outlining how teachers can reach out to parents and make them feel comfortable as partners in their child’s welfare. The tools are easily applicable to school health centers.
Parents in Action! A Guide to Engaging Parents in Local School Wellness Policy
California Project LEAN (CPL) conducted a literature review and key informant interviews to answer the following questions: Why do parents participate in school activities? What would get parents involved? What are obstacles in parent participation? This toolkit aims to support parent efforts to improve the school environment with an emphasis on healthy food and physical activity. The Parents in Action! tool includes fact sheets, parent handouts, case studies, and planning templates.
The California Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
PTA is the one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and highest profile volunteer organization working on behalf of public schools, children, and families. In their official position statement, the California State PTA supports the concept of school-based health centers, believing all children and youth are entitled to physical and mental health care.