What is Family Engagement?

A child is hugged by her parents
"Family Engagement is any way that a child's adult caretaker (biological parents, foster parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.) effectively supports learning and healthy development."
- Center for Strategic Community Innovation

There are several definitions and elements of Family Engagement. Most include building relationships, linking family engaging to learning, and sharing power and knowledge related to student learning.


  • Flamboyan Foundation
    Works to develop the capacity of educators to partner effectively with families so that children succeed. (articles, videos)

  • National Network of Partnership Schools, John Hopkins University
    NNPS invites schools, districts, states, and organizations to join together and use research-based approaches to organize and sustain excellent programs of family and community involvement that will increase student success in school (articles, trainings, webinars)

  • Global Family Research Project
    Nonprofit organization that supports all families and communities in helping children find success in and out of school. connect research, policy, and practice to advance children’s learning and development. (articles, blogs)



  • High Impact Family and Community Engagement Workshop, Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Workshop
    This workshop explores family engagement frameworks that provide evidence-based, family engagement strategies. The video will assist district and school teams in developing effective engagement that aligns with their district and school plans. (SCOE FACE events in collaboration with Seeds of Partnership)

  • Seeds of Partnership: Family Engagement That Leads to Increased Student Achievement
    Produced by the Seeds of Partnership and funded by the California Department of Education Special Education Division. Topics include: What is family engagement, why family engagement is critical, establishing effective and sustaining practices.

  • SWIFT in 60: Trusting Family Partnerships
    Created by SWIFT, this film focuses on Trusting Family Partnerships including students with disabilities and those with the most extensive needs.

Action Tools

  • Introduction to Family Engagement in Education
    Free Harvard University online video modules through edX. Learn about successful collaborations between families and educators and why they lead to improved outcomes for students and schools.

  • Webinar Archives for School-Based Action Teams for Partnerships
    National Network of Partnership Schools, John Hopkins University annual (free) Webinar for School-Based Action Teams for Partnerships (ATPs). “Basics” for starting or strengthening a goal-linked partnership program for the school year. Topics include: ten steps to partnership success, strengthening the ATP, and how to write a good, goal-linked action plan to engage more and different families in ways that contribute to academic and behavioral results for students.