The National Center for Community Schools (NCCS), DYCD’s Family Engagement technical assistance provider, offers a menu of professional development sessions to all DYCD programs. All trainings will take place at NCCS’ office located at 475 Riverside Drive, suite 1220, New York 10015. Here is a sample of the training topics which were held through January 2019.  Additional workshops are being developed around culturally responsive family engagement practice for roll out in Spring 2019.

Introduction to Circles of Support: Family Engagement Framework

This interactive half-day workshop will introduce DYCD’s Family Engagement Framework and review the research on family engagement and its connection to healthy youth and family development. Participants will create their programmatic vision and goals for increasing family engagement and strengthening the home/school/community connection.

Workshop Objectives:

Circles of Support: Creating a Family Welcoming Environment

The interactive half-day workshop will explore strategies for how to create program spaces that are culturally responsive, inviting and provide multiple opportunities for families to network and contribute their ideas, learn new skills and access services to meet their needs. Participants will be introduced to Circles of Support; DYCD’s new Family Engagement Framework and will develop an action plan for how to transform their program spaces into welcoming environments for families.

Workshop Objectives:

Circles of Support: The Power of Relationships

This interactive half-day workshop will explore the common challenges to family engagement and identify key strategies that engage families as partners and supports parenting throughout the stages of development. Participants will walk away with new approaches for how staff can address key barriers and develop positive relationships with their families.

Workshop Objectives:

Customizing Family Engagement Strategies:

Engaging Immigrant Families

This workshop is designed for DYCD providers working with immigrant families. Through interactive and reflective activities, participants will gain a better understanding of the experiences, strengths, and challenges faced by many immigrant families as they adjust to living in the United States. Participants will also explore resources tailored to best support the needs of immigrant families and strategies for how to engage them as partners.

Workshop Objectives:

Special Populations: Connecting Runaway, Homeless and Vulnerable Youth (RHY) with their Circles of Support

Family conflict and maltreatment is a key risk factor to youth experiencing homelessness. Research tells us that helping youth strengthen relationships with their family, when appropriate; is key to preventing and ending youth homelessness. This work requires a cultural shift where families are recognized for their strengths, and engaged in developing a plan that promotes wellness. This interactive workshop is designed for DYCD RHY program directors and managers. Participants will explore strategies for stabilizing RHY and connecting them to their circles of support.

Note: the terms “homeless” and “runaway” is used interchangeably as both groups lack adequate shelter and are at a greater risk of engaging in dangerous behaviors while living on the streets.

Learning Objectives:

Special Populations: Engaging Fathers

Research tells us that positive interactions between fathers and their children promote healthy physical, emotional, social and ethical development. Children who grow up with their fathers do better across a range of outcomes: lower rates of drug and alcohol use, less teen pregnancy, better school performance and successful relationships as they age. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore strategies for how to engage and support fathers to have an active role in the healthy development of their child(ren).

Learning Objectives:

Circles of Support: Family Engagement Practitioner Networks

The Family Engagement Practitioner Networks are designed to engage DYCD program staff in a community of learners where issues of practice are explored, discussed and strengthened. As learning partners, practitioners will assess programmatic needs; reflect and engage in deep discussions around case studies in their practice, share innovative strategies and resources; identify interventions and develop solutions to address their challenges in practice and promote best practices from the field. The Practitioner Networks’ core elements include:

Practitioner Network:

Inclusivity, Engagement and Voice: Creating Family Centered Environments

Program Directors, Assistant Directors and Family Engagement Specialists will explore and practice strategies for how to effectively elicit and utilize family input to develop leadership at every level of the program design, activity/project planning and facilitation. Ultimately, the goal is for DYCD programs to create a space that provides meaningful opportunities for families to take more ownership, where their opinions and ideas matter and facilitates experiences where they are making a difference in their community.

By participating in this Practitioner Network, participants will:

The Practitioner Networks are best fit for individuals who:

If you are interested in participating in NCCS’ family engagement professional development series, contact the National Center for Community Schools at (646)867-6668 or

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