When preparing to meet with families, keep the following in mind and use this checklist to support you through the meeting process.


  1. When scheduling the meetings, know the family preferences and select location and time to meet based on their preferences. 

  2. Set up a supportive and safe meeting environment, recognizing that families may bring small children in two-be prepared and have toys or coloring books available. 

  3. Remove obstacles from between you and the family—create an open and inclusive environment where all appear equal.


  1. Ask the parents about their needs and attempt to understand family dynamics. 

  2. Ask if the family would like to be connected to other family resources or peers who might have had similar experiences.

  1. Be prepared to support meeting the needs of the family which may require information and referral—readiness for planning for the youth often means helping the family to be prepared as well. 

  2. Get to know the family and to understand the degree to which they want to be involved in planning, goal setting and service delivery. 

  1. Explore the vastness of what they know about their youth and how it might help you in creating a pathway to employment. 

  2. Make sure that all action plans developed outlined meaningful and appropriate roles for the youth and their family. 

  3. Develop a communication plan with the family.  How often you will talk and what vehicle they prefer for communicating.

  1. Engage in active listening, practice mindfulness and seek clarification when needed.