Family Engagement

At every tier of the Pyramid Model, practitioners and programs should consider what strategies might be used to welcome and support diverse families; how to create opportunities to learn from families; strategies for partnering with families to promote child outcomes; and providing the supports and services that families might need to promote their child’s skill development.

(Fox & Swett, 2017, p. 86).

Fox, L. & Swett, J. (2017). Implementing partnerships with families to promote the social and emotional competence of young children. In Weist, M. D. Weist, S.A. Garbacz, K. L. Lane, & D. Kincaid, D. (Eds), Aligning and integrating family engagement in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): Concepts and strategies for families and schools in key contexts (pp. 84-97). Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education). Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon Press.

Guidance on Family Engagement

On May 5, 2016, the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a statement on the implementation of effective family engagement practices from the early years to the early grades. This statement offers a review of research, legal requirement, and best practices related to family engagement. Included in the statement are recommendations and resources for states and programs.

ED-HHS Policy Statement on Family Engagement: From the Early Years to the Early Grades
Executive Summary

ECTA Family Engagement Broadcast Series

We strongly recommend that you find the time to explore the importance of family engagement and the development of trusting partnerships with families by viewing this four-part web broadcast hosted by the ECTA Center in partnership with the DaSY Center, Ann Turnbull, and Rud Turnbull.


Related Resources

The "Making Life Easier" series is designed specifically for parents and caregivers. This series of tipsheets contains valuable information on how to make often challenging events easier to navigate, and even enjoyable, for both caregivers and children.

The Backpack Connection Series was created by TACSEI to provide a way for teachers and parents/caregivers to work together to help young children develop social emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. Teachers may choose to send a handout home in each child’s backpack when a new strategy or skill is introduced to the class. Each Backpack Connection handout provides information that helps parents stay informed about what their child is learning at school and specific ideas on how to use the strategy or skill at home. This series was developed in collaboration with Pyramid Plus: The Colorado Center for Social Emotional Competence and Inclusion and Bal Swan Children's Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

The Backpack Connection Series includes handouts in four categories:
Addressing Behavior | Emotions | Routines and Schedules | Social Skills

Other Languages

Looking for Backpack Connection or other Family Materials in Spanish or Chinese? Our resources have been translated. Click below to explore additional materials on

View Translations

Scripted Stories for Social Situations are short PowerPoint presentations consisting of a mixture of words and pictures that provide specific information to a child about social situations such as going to preschool, sitting in circle time, staying safe and using words. When children are given information that helps them understand expectations, their problem behavior within that situation is reduced or minimized. These stories provide examples of how scripted stories are worded and illustrated for a child. Teachers and families should modify the story to be meaningful for the child they are supporting and the unique context of the social situation.

We have compiled a variety of activities, materials and tools to help children promote self-regulation or problem solving. Examples of tools you will find here are handouts that feature emotion faces, the "turtle technique" and feeling charts as well as solution kits to help children come up with solutions around common social problems.

Children and families have a smoother day when children know what to expect. The resources below provide families with strategies for setting up schedules, routines, and smooth transitions.