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Virtual Check-ins to Keep Connected

Through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic many of us faced new challenges to stay connected with young people and families.

This series of virtual check-ins provides a structure for practitioners who work with young people and families to connect with parents and guardians in a virtual environment. It focuses on creating a community among parents and guardians while also providing resources for families to use at home that emphasize positive parent-youth relationships by spending enjoyable and meaningful time together.

These sessions are tied to Search Institute’s developmental relationships framework, reflecting our decades of research on what helps young people thrive and grow.

The topic of the check-ins are:

  1. Introduction to Developmental Relationships

  2. Express Care

  3. Challenge Growth

  4. Provide Support

  5. Share Power

  6. Expand Possibilities

The virtual check-ins are presented in the order that they appear in Search Institute’s developmental relationships framework. But they work as standalone sessions that can be used in whatever order that serves your program, calendar, and community. They may be used on their own or as a series.

Relational Practice

Virtual Check-ins to Keep Connected

Resource Audience

Parenting Adults

Resource Type

Relational Practice

Read Time

Under 5 Minutes



Task Group Size

Independent Whole Group (Any Size)

Task Length

10-15 Minutes 16-30 Minutes

Tips on How to Use the Virtual Check-ins

  1. Select a technology platform that is accessible to the families (videoconference or teleconference).

  2. Invite parents and guardians to participate. The sessions are designed for groups of six – 10 parents, not more. Personal invitations that describe what to expect will be most effective.

  3. Review the facilitator guide for each session, and prepare for the check-in session.

  4. One or two days in advance, send each participating parent/guardian the material for the session. You can post on your organization’s website, send parents links via email, and share PDFs of materials.

  5. Send an email or text reminder to parents and guardians the day before the check-in session.

  6. Facilitate the 30-minute online session. Be sure to maintain the time limit. If some people want to continue talking, make it clear that the session is over and people are free to leave. Some may continue (if that’s okay).

  7. Follow up with the parents, sending another copy of the session materials and next steps.

Use the check-ins in any order, and in any way, that works for the families that you support.