The ECTA Center partnered with the DaSy Center, Ann and Rud Turnbull, and invited guests to facilitate an interactive four-part web broadcast series aimed at supporting early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) systems leaders with building capacity in personnel and families to develop trusting partnerships. These partnerships in a child’s early years lay the foundation for achieving the long-term intended outcomes for children/students with developmental delays and disabilities articulated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The series features discussions of the role that data play in strengthening family-professional partnerships. Suggestions and resources for designing personnel and family development activities to support partnerships are also shared.
This series is unique in addressing the knowledge-building and technical assistance needs of both practitioners and families. The webinars are intended for:
In the first session, presenters discuss the meaning of family engagement by sharing the results of a synthesis of key policies, frameworks, and the DEC Recommended Practices on family engagement, including related principles of IDEA. They address the essential role of systems supports for ensuring local implementation of effective family engagement practices.
In the second session, the presenters focus on the nature of trusting partnerships among professionals and families. They describe six research-based partnership principles, and emphasize the practices that professionals and families should demonstrate when implementing the principles. Tools for measuring partnerships and family engagement are also discussed.
Guest presenters include staff from the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement and early childhood partners from Iowa discussing some of their program improvement efforts.
In Session 3, the presenters highlight quality practices that enable practitioners and families to develop and strengthen trusting partnerships. Guests from the field speak to their experiences with implementing the practices. Resources for designing related personnel and family development activities are shared.
The facilitators and guest presenters continue their discussion on effective practices that enable practitioners and families to develop and strengthen trusting partnerships by focusing on three additional types of family engagement. The webinar series concludes with a connection back to the principles and long-term goals of IDEA, and a state example of systems level data-informed decision-making for supporting the implementation of effective family engagement practices.