The Partnership for Occupational and Career Information (POCI) undertook this project to deliver career information directly to a parent audience in order to better address two of its goals:
Improve parent access to information and planning resources that relate educational preparation to career goals and expectations.
Equip teachers, administrators, and counselors with the knowledge and skills needed to assist parents with occupational information, career exploration, and educational opportunities and financing.
- For the purposes of this Web site, the term "parents" refers to birth parents or guardians. Guardians might include grandparents, other relatives, step-parents, foster parents or other court-appointed guardians, and other persons who assume primary care-taking responsibilities for a child.
- Parenting is an individual and unique responsibility. The suggestions contained in this Web site are not intended to criticize, usurp, limit, or intrude on parental responsibilities. MyChildsFuture.org is in no way intended as an official policy position of any agency of the State of Oregon.
- The information in this Web site is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Please consult your school administrator, healthcare provider, school guidance counselor, and/or pediatrician for recommendations about diagnosing or treating psychological issues that may arise related to school and your child.
In order to produce materials and information that address the needs perceived by Oregon parents and schools, POCI conducted a survey of parent organizations through school principals in the fall of 2004. 157 surveys were returned from 82 schools. Content that was considered "greatly needed" by least 35% of respondents included:
- Supporting their children in school to assure they are learning to their potential
- Motivating their children to think about their future
- Financial aid
- Career and educational planning
- Career-related learning requirements for HS graduation
- Career awareness and exploration
These content areas are included extensively in this Web site. However, where other parent-directed Oregon information exists, we have linked to those resources rather than duplicate them.
The survey also included two questions related to information delivery. No single delivery method works for all ages or types of students. Although Web sites are an important communication tool, we understand that this site will not necessarily reach those who are most disconnected from their children's schools. However, POCI hopes that by making the information widely available and easily accessible, groups who are in the position to reach parents will use this resource to that end.
The development of this Web site and a supporting brochure has been done as a partnership activity. Oversight of the project was provided by the Oregon Employment Department's America's Career Resource Network (ACRN) staff. Funding for the research and writing was provided through the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. Brochure design, Web site design, and Web site programming were all contributed by Oregon Employment Department staff. Permanent site hosting and maintenance are being provided by the Oregon Career Information System. These contributing agencies exemplify public partnership at its best.
The development of this Web site for Oregon parents was particularly motivated by the publication of the Parents' Guide by America's Career Resource Network (ACRN). The federal ACRN project was designed to support the involvement of parents in the career development of their children and to serve as an educational tool for parents, counselors, and state career resource networks, like Oregon's. POCI has used many of the materials developed by ACRN to inform and provide content for this Web site.
Like Oregon, many other states have also produced products for parents. They have been generous in sharing their ideas and content. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the following:
- Arizona's AzCRN Parent Guide
- Georgia Career Information Center's Information Parents Can Use Campaign
- Indiana's Learn More Resource Center
- Minnesota Department of Education's Many Doors to Opportunity
- Nebraska CIS'; Guide on the Side, The Role of Parents in Their Child's Career Development
- North Carolina CRN's The Tool Kit, A Career Planning Resource for Families
- Ohio Department of Education's It's about time and It's the 11th hour in your teen's high school career
- South Dakota CRN's The Game of Life, A Career Planning Guide for Parents
- Washington Occupational Information System's As Dr Q Sees It - Living, Learning, and Earning in America and Giving Children Hope and Skills for the 21st Century, A Parent's Handbook on the Future World of Work, by Susan M. Quattrociocchi and Barbara Peterson.