What is a Parent Involvement Specialist?

A parent involvement specialist is sometimes referred to as a community coordinator or student support specialist. Parent involvement specialists assist in the preparation and administration of parent involvement activities. They do everything from conducting parent training to campaigning for increased family involvement to connecting with community and government agencies.

Primary Duties

The primary goal of these educational professionals is to increase parental involvement and engagement. They develop seminars for staff and conduct training for parents to improve family involvement in key areas. This includes district programs, community health initiatives and parent-involvement workshops. Some also have committee advisory responsibilities and participate in meetings regarding the integration of technology and educational support programs.

Still, some must ensure compliance with the district’s parent involvement program requirements and strive to ensure that outreach services meet established objectives. Parent involvement specialists who work as administrators may communicate with district, city and state personnel and public agencies regarding their parent involvement programs and services. These individuals will cultivate and maintain positive relations with schools, community agencies and the public.

Career Highlight – Elementary School

Parent involvement specialists who work in elementary schools will provide parents with support to further the academic achievements of their children. They assist parents with connecting with education activities and programs based on the individual needs of the parents at each school. These parent involvement specialists typically receive incoming referrals for parents with specific or challenging needs.

They collaborate with teachers, office personnel and the administrative team to locate and allocate the necessary resources and solutions for parents. Parent involvement specialists who work in elementary schools will maintain contact with local businesses and state support agencies to develop positive partnerships for assisting students and their families. These educational professionals may work with state social workers, community health nurses and local law enforcement.

Required Qualifications

Job applicants must be prepared to demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of the city, public school system and target client populations. This position requires strong written and oral communication skills, including active listening and public speaking skills. Job candidates must have flexible interpersonal and human relations skills. This means they need the ability to develop positive working relationships with both clients and co-workers.

Cultural competency is a must, so job candidates must appreciate, embrace and value of diversity and inclusion. Parent involvement specialists must sometimes function as a cooperative team player who excels in a shared-decision-making environment, but they also need to be capable of functioning as a self-reliant and self-motivated. Strong problem-solving and independent decision-making skills will help parental involvement specialists successfully perform their duties in hectic and fast-paced work environments.

A parent involvement specialist will need the right degree, which is usually a combination of experience and academic training related to education, psychology, counseling or social work. Popular education degree specializations include child and family services, community leadership and community based organizations. Some students may also earn a social work degree related to social, human and community services. Read more about parental engagement at the Department of Education’s website here.

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