Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

Empowering Marginalized Parents: An Emerging Parent Empowerment Model for School Counselors

Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

Empowering Marginalized Parents: An Emerging Parent Empowerment Model for School Counselors

Article excerpt

The school counseling literature presents parent empowerment as a critical tool to address academic and opportunity gaps, systemic barriers, and educational inequalities that affect students' academic, social/emotional, and career development (Holcomb-McCoy & Bryan, 2010; Lopez-Baez & Paylo, 2009; Ratts & Hutchins, 2009). Parent empowerment refers to:

the process by which parents gain greater influence on their families, schools, and communities; greater access to networks, resources, and information; and greater skills and agency in facilitating effective schooling of their children and bringing about change in their children's school. (Kim & Bryan, 2017, p. 169)

Indeed, scholars have suggested that empowerment is an important vehicle for helping marginalized parents find their voice, gain control over their lives, and advocate for their children (Ball, 2014; Bolivar & Chrispeels, 2011; Kim & Bryan, 2017; Ratts & Hutchins, 2009). Consequences of facilitating the empowerment of parents of adolescents have included reducing suicide risk factors (Toumbourou & Gregg, 2002) and increasing academic performance (Jasis & Ordonez-Jasis, 2004; Kim & Bryan, 2017). Despite recognition that parent empowerment matters to students' mental health and achievement, little is known about school counseling practices and activities that effectively lead to empowering parents. We present key school counseling practices and activities to help school counselors create programs and interventions to foster parent empowerment.

Increasingly, school counselors' efforts to support and partner with parents to improve students' academic achievement are considered essential competencies for school counselor leadership (Dollarhide, 2003; Dollarhide, Gibson, & Saginak, 2008; Young, Dollarhide, & Baughman, 2015). Although the school counseling literature has emphasized the importance of school counselor leadership, only a few studies have provided a specific leadership framework school counselors can use for successful school counseling programs, and none specifically address working with parents. Dollarhide and colleagues (2003, 2008) proposed a useful framework of school counselor leadership, comprising structural, human resources, political, and symbolic leadership, which can be applied to a comprehensive school counseling program. Such leadership involves a sense of competence and responsibility with a clear, measurable, and focused vision and goals to bring about change in schools (Dollarhide et al., 2008). Utilizing survey research and factor analyses, Young and Bryan (2015) identified five dimensions of school counselor leadership practices and behaviors: interpersonal influence, systemic collaboration, resourceful problem-solving, professional efficacy, and social justice advocacy. These five dimensions were incorporated into Young and Bryan's (2015), Bryan and Young's (2017) school counselor leadership framework.

Using the school counselor leadership framework (Young & Bryan, 2015) and recent research on parent empowerment (Kim & Bryan, 2017), we have proposed an emerging parent empowerment model specifically for school counselors. This model aims to help school counselors create and implement parent empowerment programs and interventions. To illustrate the different aspects of the model, we present a fictional case example that demonstrates how school counselors can use a parent empowerment approach with marginalized parents of high school students.

An emerging parent empowerment model specifically for school counselors... aims to help school counselors create and implement parent empowerment programs and interventions.

Literature Review

Marginalized Parents and Parent Empowerment

Low-income and racial/ethnic minority students and parents and those with limited English proficiency have less access to resources, information, and social networks (Bolivar & Chrispeels, 2011; Cauthen & Fass, 2008; Fann, McClafferty Jarsky, & McDonough, 2009). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.