Skip to main content

Collection | Effective Parent/Caregiver/Family Partnerships

Enroll in CEC’s On-Demand Collection focused on building effective partnerships with parents/caregivers/families to learn practical strategies for fostering and maintaining effective relationships that will only enhance the support of a student’s learning -- and earn six (6) continuing education units (CEUs)!

Lean into High-Leverage Practices #2 and #3 to be sure you are communicating respectfully and effectively considering the background, socioeconomic status, language, culture, and priorities of students and families. 

Featuring six curated on-demand courses, this collection is designed to help special education professionals enhance their collaboration and communication skills and equip them with strategies to establish and maintain strong, culturally responsive partnerships with families.  

When you sign up, you will enjoy these benefits, as part of the CEC Learning Library experience:

  • Start learning immediately after registering
  • Take the on-demand courses when and where you want
  • One year to complete the collection of courses
  • Earn 6 hours of continuing education and a certificate for completing the collection
  • View the rest of the CEC Learning Library catalog. CEC members get FREE access to over 150 webinars covering over 100 categories  
Cost to sign-up
CEC Members $49
Non-Members $99

Sign Up


Included Courses (6)

Presenter: Sean Roy


Time: 60 minutes


As a new—or experienced—teacher, it can sometimes seem like it’s you against the world…including the families you work with. You’re the education expert. Why can’t they see that?


In this webinar, Sean Roy, a longtime parent advocate and national technical assistance provider, and John Waterman, an experienced educator and parent of a child with exceptionalities, will help you understand what it’s like on the other side of the table, and what families need and want from teachers to truly be a part of their child’s team. This webinar will provide an overview of the information you need, real-life examples of challenging parent/teacher situations and arm you with effective strategies to work with families. The presenters will help you engage your families in the education process with effective communication and common understanding. By communicating with empathy, building strong relationships and encouraging high expectations for your students, great family engagement can be the difference that ultimately helps you best serve your students.


After this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Describe common experiences families have when interacting with special education professionals.
  • Explain the impact of high expectations on family involvement and student outcomes.
  • Explain 3 common challenges when working with families.
  • List 2-3 strategies to improve communication with families

Presenters: Mark Melton & Phyllis LeDosquet


Time: 65 minutes


Equitable family engagement is a shared decision-making process between practitioners and families that occurs within a context of mutual respect, reciprocity, and cultural competency. This session utilizes case examples and evidence-based practices to promote self-reflection as a guide for practitioners to plan and implement equitable family engagement services with resources provided for their use in this endeavor.


Participants will be able to:

  • Identify action steps for enacting a plan for self-reflection as it relates to family engagement.
  • Delineate characteristics of cultural diversity that potentially impact and inform relationship-building with families.
  • Articulate culturally appropriate, evidence-based practices to guide intervention.
  • Utilize strategic dialogue techniques proven successful in transforming challenging interactions.

Presenter: Merissa Waddey


Time: 50 minutes


We describe a “Family Notebook” that facilitates communication and collaboration within early childhood settings by creating a space for families and educators to work together, share information, engage in conversation about developmental domains, and access meaningful data about a child’s progress in both home and school settings. The notebook is part of a web-based intervention tool, developed for educators who provide individualized behavior support for young children exhibiting challenging behavior. We will review key implementation barriers, discuss family-educator partnerships, and share data from user testing and evaluation, emphasizing elements that can be used by other educators. 


Participants will be able to:

  • Identify barriers to implementing behavior support for young children.
  • Discuss ways to facilitate effective family-educator partnerships.
  • Describe key elements of a “family notebook technology” that can be used to create effective home-school collaboration.

Presenters: Cathy Kea, Renée Garraway, Ed.D., Joy Banks, Elizabeth Drame, & Theodore Pikes


Time: 90 minutes


Many special educators are unprepared to effectively teach culturally diverse exceptional students, communicate with their families, and thrive in diverse communities. Currently, 81% of our special education teachers are white and 86% female (Data U.S.A., 2019). Teachers were less confident around family engagement than any other topic on the State of the Special Education Profession survey (Fowler, Coleman, & Bogdan, 2019). This four-part session will first discuss how disparities and the intersection of culture, race and disability impact African American communities and the daily pursuits of African American families.


Participants will:

  • Examine how disparities impact the lived experiences of African American families and their communities.
  • Identify how racialized views of African American children and families impact the quality of instruction, special education services, relationships, and collaboration efforts.
  • Utilize an asset-based approach to generate ways community engagement can be developed in their locale.
  • Learn recommended ways educator preparation programs and school districts can support family engagement.

Presenters: Marla Lohmann & Kathleen Boothe


Time: 30 minutes


High-Leverage Practice (HLP) 3 highlights the importance of special educators teaming with families to support student success. When schools and families work together, student learning is increased and behavior challenges are decreased. This session will provide attendees with evidence-based strategies for effective collaboration with families.


Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the rationale for building collaborative relationships with the families of students with disabilities.
  • Articulate the ways in which schools and families can partner to support students with disabilities.
  • Create a plan for building home-school relationships in their own classrooms.

Presenters: Dr. Catherine Martin & Dr. Clara Hauth


Time: 72 minutes


Per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), families of children with disabilities are equal stakeholders in IEP meetings. With the number of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds increasing each year, working effectively with diverse families in the IEP process is especially important. Learn how to involve your students and families from diverse backgrounds in the IEP process and ensure that all your students receive the educational support they need.


After this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Identify family characteristics to be aware of when working with diverse students.
  • Understand cultural and linguistic challenges to address when working with diverse families at IEP meetings.
  • Identify ways to facilitate involvement from diverse families.
  • Share strategies to help families of all backgrounds feel welcome and respected at IEP meetings.

© 2024 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). All rights reserved.