The New ParentFurther: A Resource for Strengthening the Relationships that Matter Most in Families

Is your organization or school looking for creative ways to engage your young people’s parents and families? An all-new website from Search Institute,, is a great resource for parents. The website features quick quizzes, conversation starters, and activities that bring to life new research on family relationships and youth development.

The new offers more than 100 brief, meaningful activities for families that emphasize how kids and parenting adults can learn, grow, and enjoy time together. Each activity focuses on strengthening family relationships and developing attitudes and skills that young people need to overcome challenges and thrive in life.

ParentFurther is a resource for individual families, but it is also a virtual hub for schools and other organizations to enhance their work with families. Beginning in fall 2015, Search Institute will begin piloting a new family partnership program for schools and other organizations, tentatively titled Keep Connected. Keep Connected is being designed initially to help parents navigate their children’s transition to the teen years. Search Institute’s research on developmental relationships will be a focus of the Keep Connected program.

Key Features of the New Site

The new also features:

  • Quick quizzes to help parents focus on different aspects of relationships and specific challenges they face
  • Discussion-starter questions for families
  • Accessible research summaries on the importance of each topic
  • Tips for understanding kids at each stage of development, from infancy through adolescence

Among the topics featured on the site are:

  • Search Institute’s new framework of developmental relationships, which identifies five key strategies: expressing care, challenging growth, providing support, sharing power, and expanding possibilities
  • Key attitudes and skills that motivate young people to persevere through challenges and distractions, such as knowing and developing one’s sparks (interests), setting goals, and increasing effort
  • Positive approaches to key challenges that families face, such as preventing alcohol and tobacco use, and managing money well—the number one source of stress in families

Building on a Strong Foundation

The new ParentFurther website builds on a strong foundation of Search Institute websites for parents, including, launched in 2004, and, launched in 2010. “Our previous sites reached a lot of families, but the sites didn’t help them use what we know to enhance family life,” says Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Search Institute’s vice president of research and development and lead developer of the new site. “The new ParentFurther moves beyond tips and advice to offer practical experiences that families can use to build their relationships and strengths together.”

Check It Out!

People who work with families and parents are invited to visit, then register on the site to access a rich array of activities and resources. Please send us feedback about the site, and encourage others to try it out. We would also love to hear from middle schools that may be interested in piloting the new Keep Connected program. Contact us at

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