National Resources on Family Engagement
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Federal Guidance, Tools, and Resources
The following list provides support to grantee's activities and strategies to maximize parental choice and knowledge as outlined in the PDG B–5 grant funding opportunity announcement.
The U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released this guidance to support states, local education agencies (LEAs), schools, and early childhood programs in implementing effective family engagement practices. It is the Departments' position that strong family engagement is central to promoting children's healthy development, school readiness, and academic achievement in elementary school and beyond. When families and programs work together in meaningful ways, children have more positive attitudes toward school, stay in school longer, have better attendance, and experience more school success.
The Office of Head Start's Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) provides a variety of resources related to supporting the cultural diversity of families enrolled in early childhood programs. Some of the resources include:
- Multicultural Principles for Early Childhood Leaders
- Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Professional Development Modules
- Dual Language Learner Toolkit
NCPFCE is one of the Office Head Start's six training and technical assistance centers. It is designed to promote integrated, systemic, and sustained family and community engagement in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. NCPFCE has developed The Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework, a research-based tool that can be used to help strengthen family engagement in early childhood programs. See also, Family Engagement Professional Development Guide which clarifies the difference between the terms parent involvement and family engagement.
This collection of resources was developed by the U.S. Department of Education to help schools, families and communities work together more successfully for improved student outcomes. It includes a link to the Dual Capacity Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships, which was originally developed by Karen Mapp in 2013.
In 2019, Version 2 of the Framework was released. The framework is a tool designed to assist states, districts, and schools in their efforts to develop and sustain strong partnerships and positive relationships with families.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway developed this web-based tool to help professionals in child welfare, early childhood education, education, behavioral health, and juvenile justice better understand how family engagement is defined and implemented across these fields of practice. It can be used to promote collaboration among multiple systems that often work with the same children and families. Note the navigation tabs for Practice, Program, and System Strategies for family engagement.
Resources from National Centers and Associations
This toolkit of resources was developed and informed by the work of the Family Outcomes Cross-State Learning Collaborative (CSLC) through the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) to support Early Intervention (EI) system leaders in using and implementing recommendations from the ED-HHS Policy Statement on Family Engagement: From the Early Years to the Early Grades (2016).
National Academies of Medicine, Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children: This report reviews the research on parenting practices, identifies effective practices, and recommends ways to support interventions that help more parents learn about effective parenting practices. It is intended to serve as a road-map for the future of parenting and family support policies, practices, and research in the U.S. across the private and public sectors within the health, human services, and education systems.
Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO): This brief discusses the importance of family engagement, looks at approaches states have taken in developing program guidance, and provides strategies to support effective implementation. It draws on work CEELO did with two states as they developed guidance on family engagement.
National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE): This brochure provides suggestions on how educators and service providers can effectively collaborate with parents. It includes specific recommendations about planning and conducting meetings to create appropriate individualized education programs (IEPs) for children who receive special education and related services.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children's Engaging Diverse Families Project has developed six principles of effective family engagement based on an extensive review of the research.
See also: Quality Benchmark for Cultural Competence Project (2009)
NCCC works to advance and sustain cultural and linguistic competency within systems and organizations. A number of NCCC resources are specfically of interest to personnel working with young children with disabilities and their families. Some of these include, for example:
- Promoting Cultural and Linguistic Competency Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports In Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings (English) (2009)
- Promoviendo la diversidad cultural y los servicios que son culturalmente apropiados — Lista de auto evaluación para el personal que provee servicios y apoyos a niños con necesidades especiales de salud, con discapacidades y sus familias (Spanish) (2005)
- A Guide for Advancing Family-Centered and Culturally and Linguistically Competent Care (2007)
Hanover Research: This report examines the literature on engaging diverse families, particularly African-American and Hispanic families, and presents case studies. It focuses primarily on public, K–12 settings in large, urban public school districts, however the key findings are also relevant to engaging diverse families in other settings.
The PACER Center's Minnesota School and Family Connection project has compiled and developed training tools and resources for families and educators working with culturally diverse families. This page includes links to videos, research literature, practice guides, training tools, and more. Many of the resources for families are translated into Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
This field-tested 5 module professional development course provides early childhood professionals with the guidance they need to create settings that support culturally and linguistically diverse children and help them succeed. It provides learning objectives, case studies, reflection questions, an assessment scale and observation checklist to monitor improvement, and more.