skip to main content
Heartland mobile logo

Resource List on Family Partnerships - Communication & Collaboration Strategies

CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge. (n.d.). CONNECT modules. Module 3: Communication for collaboration. Retrieved from

This web-based training module provides information for professionals on how to improve their communication skills and develop collaborative relationships within the context of parent-to-professional and professional-to-professional interactions. Participants using the module will work through a case study to fully understand these concepts.

Division for Early Childhood. (1999, October). Concept paper on identification of and intervention with challenging behavior.Montana: Author. Retrieved from (PDF)

This position paper challenges professionals to look at challenging behaviors in light of cultural differences in expected behavior, a professionals own value system, and with regard to developmentally appropriate expectations. Ways to address challenging behaviors through supports and adaptations, classroom environments, and professional development are discussed. The importance of engaging the family in this process is also presented.

Division for Early Childhood. (2010). Responsiveness to all children, families, and professionals: Integrating cultural and linguistic diversity into policy and practice. Retrieved from (PDF)

A position paper that outlines the need for professionals and organizations serving families to be aware of and sensitive to the cultural and linguistic diversity of the families and children they serve. Seven position statements detailing the characteristics of culturally and linguistically responsive organizations are discussed.

Easy Family (2008). Gathering Your Family Stories. Retrieved from

This web resource provides suggestions on how to gather family stories through interviews.

Goode, T., & Jones, W. (2007). A guide for advancing family-centered and culturally and linguistically competent care.Washington, DC: National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Retrieved from (PDF)

This guide provides a framework for understanding and creating organizations, services and interactions that are family centered and that address the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families within the context of families with special health care needs. Common definitions of these concepts are discussed with detailed information for the following five focus-areas: research and dissemination; training, education, and professional development; information exchange and social marketing; innovative practices; and accountability and outcomes.

Iowa Script Team. (2004). Family Centered Services: Guiding Principles and Practices for Delivery of Family Centered Services.Iowa: Early ACCESS and Project SCRIPT. Retrieved from (PDF)

This manual outlines seven guiding principles for delivering "Family Centered Services." Developed for Early ACCESS providers in the state of Iowa, the information provides numerous examples on ways to provide services in a family centered way.

IRIS Center. (n.d.). Star Legacy Modules. Collaborating with families. Retrieved from

This learning module focuses on building strong relationships with families who have a child with a disability. Information about the unique needs of these families as well as strategies to successfully collaborate with them is shared. Using M. T. Watkins Middle School as a case study, strategies to increase the family participation of students who have a disability are discussed.

IRIS Center. (n.d.). Star Legacy Modules. Effective school practices: Promoting collaboration and monitoring students' academic achievement. Retrieved from

This learning module presents the challenges faced by schools as they are required by law to improve the standardized tests scores of all children, including those with disabilities. Using Wilbur Middle School as a case study, strategies to improve assessments are highlighted and the importance of collaboration between various stakeholders is demonstrated.

McWilliam, P.A. (2004). Vanderbilt Home Visit Script. Chattanooga: Siskin Children’s Institute. . Retrieved from

This resource provides support to professionals who are visiting families in a home-based setting. An interview script is provided that is evidence-based and is focused around five areas of emotional support.

Parents as Teachers. (2010). Cultural competency policy. Retrieved from

Overview of Parents as Teachers policies related to cultural competency. Organization supports implementation of these policies as integral to effective interactions with families.

Turnbull, A., Winton, P., Rous, B., and Buysse, V.(2010). CONNECT Module 4: Family-professional partnerships. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute, CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge. Retrieved from

This web-based module provides information on how to create a positive partnership with parents. Establishing parents as partners, involving them in decision-making, and working with them to address challenging behaviors are some of the discussed. Participants using the module will work through a case study to fully understand these concepts.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746