Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Outcomes Measurement: Family Outcomes Measurement


In the Fall of 2003, the WWW: Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the WWW: U.S. Department of Education funded the Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Center to promote the development and implementation of child and family outcome measures for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities which could be used in local, state, and national accountability systems. Through an iterative process which included extensive input from stakeholders, five family outcomes have been identified:

  • Families understand their child's strengths, abilities, and special needs.
  • Families know their rights and advocate effectively for their child.
  • Families help their child develop and learn.
  • Families have support systems.
  • Families access desired services, programs, and activities in their community.

Following this process, researchers at the ECO Center constructed the Family Outcomes Survey, an instrument for parents to rate the extent to which they have achieved each of the five outcomes. The original version was completed in 2006, has versions for children with special needs, all children, and preschool aged children. An updated version of the Part C version (The ECO Family Outcomes Survey-Revised or ECO FOS-R) was completed in 2010.

The core concepts in the ECO FOS-R remain the same as in the original Family Outcomes Survey, with the addition of more detailed information to guide program improvement activities and a modified survey format. Psychometric properties of the revised measure have been tested and are described in a PDF: FAQ document. Both the original and revised versions have been translated into Spanish as well as additional languages. Special thanks to our colleagues in Texas, Minnesota, and Washington for assisting with these translations.

The outcomes team also produces an annual document highlighting the results from the last year's SPP/APR data analyses.

Survey Versions

ECO Family Outcomes Survey Revised: Part C (2010)

The Part C version of the ECO Family Outcomes Survey was revised based on feedback from stakeholders. Details about changes can be found in the FAQs, below. Please note: The ECTA Center will continue to support the use of the 2006 ECO FOS.

Other translations are available below.

2006 ECO Family Outcomes Survey: Versions for Children with Special Needs

2006 ECO Family Outcomes Survey: Versions for All Children

Additional Resources

Collecting and Using Family Survey Data

Select materials related to collecting and using family outcomes data include:

Additional Resources

Informing Families About Outcomes Measurement

A number of states have developed materials to inform parents about child and family outcomes requirements, how outcomes measurement systems will be implemented in their state, and how the requirements will affect them and their children. Links to these materials are available on the Informing Families About Outcomes page.

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

  • CB 8040
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
  • phone: 919.962.2001
  • fax: 919.966.7463
  • email:

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

  • FPG Child Development Institute
  • IDEAs that Work