Middle Years Family Advocates encourage parental engagement and advocacy in children's education and development at school and at home. Working with families with students in 4th-8th grade, these Family Advocates are a link between parent, teacher, and child — and address each family's unique strengths, barriers, and needs to provide individualized attention and support families along their educational paths.
Family Advocates promote, model, and reinforce parental engagement strategies and knowledge of child development during structured home or office visits. They help families to locate resources and make referrals to community organizations and other educational programs for students. Advocates work with families on goal planning, preparing for school meetings, hosting group trainings, and more.
Evaluation by Duke's Center for Child and Family Policy has shown that students engaged in 3 or more EDCI programs (which includes the advocate program) find particular success. The program strives to positively impact student attendance, behavior, academic performance, as well as college and career readiness over time.