The School Counselor and School-Family-Community Partnerships
(Adopted 2010, Revised 2016, 2022)
School counselors have an essential and unique role in promoting, facilitating and advocating for collaboration with parents/guardians and community stakeholders. These collaborations are an important aspect of implementing school counseling programs that promote all students’ successful academic, career and social/emotional development.
The ASCA National Model (ASCA, 2019a) and the ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies (ASCA, 2019b) endorse school counselors’ roles in facilitating school-family-community partnerships. School counselors are trained in counseling, human relations and collaboration skills (e.g., group dynamics, consultation skills), which makes them well-suited to engage families and community stakeholders, and they enhance the collaboration of school-family-community stakeholders by being the catalyst through which these collaborations occur (Bryan et al., 2017). Family involvement benefits both the student and the school, as it increases student achievement and attendance, promotes career development, enhances school climate and fosters student resilience (Castillo, 2022).
The School Counselor's Role
In establishing school and community partnerships, school counselors work with students, their families, school staff and community members. In fostering partnerships, school counselors:
- Actively pursue collaboration with family members and community stakeholders
- Promote student academic, career and social/emotional development
- Encompass existing school, family and community strengths, resources and assets (Bryan et al., 2020)
- Inform the school community about relevant community resources
- Foster resilience through equity-based school-family-community partnerships and parent-family-school agreements based on empowerment, democracy, collaboration, social justice and strength-based principles (Bryan et al., 2020).
- Work to end racism/bias by collaborating with families, educators, businesses and community organizations focused on anti-racism/bias (ASCA, 2021)
School counselors work to improve student outcomes through the facilitation of school-family-community partnerships. School-family-community partnerships have increased students’ successful academic, career and social/emotional development. School counselors are called on to create, lead, facilitate and assess these partnerships and work to remove barriers to these helpful collaborative relationships.
American School Counselor Association (2019a). The ASCA National Model. Alexandria, VA: Author.
American School Counselor Association (2021). The School Counselor and Anti-Racist Practices. Alexandria, VA: Author.
American School Counselor Association (2019b). ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Bryan, J., Young, A., Griffin, D., & Holcomb-McCoy, C. (2017). Leadership Practices Linked to Involvement in School–Family-Community Partnerships. Professional School Counseling, 21(1),
Bryan, Julia & Williams, Joseph & Griffin, Dana. (2020). Fostering Educational Resilience and Opportunities in Urban Schools Through Equity-Focused School-Family- Community Partnerships. Professional School Counseling. 23.10.1177/2156759X19899179.
Castillo, B. M. (2022). “Equity Work is Messy”: Exploring a Family and Community Partnership in One School District. Education and Urban Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/00131245221076074