What Does the Research Say About Partnerships with Families?

What Does the Research Say About Partnerships with Families?

father and son playing

For young children, the quality of their earliest relationships with their parents and caregivers will affect their intellectual, social and physical development. Children who experience the world as responsive to their needs, predictable, and supportive will have the emotional foundations that make them ready to learn (Norman-Murch, 1996).

Children can succeed when they experience similar messages, expectations, goals, values, priorities, and supports from families, schools, and communities.

Partnering with families helps to build these bridges across home and care settings. Additionally, research says:

  • The influence of the family upon the child remains fundamental throughout these early years. It is important to link subsequent steps in children’s education to their earlier experiences and to involve the parents in these activities (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1987).
  • Programs that demonstrate and support partnering with families tend to have families that feel more confident and comfortable in supporting their children’s development (Wilcox & Weber, 2001).
  • When services incorporate practices that promote partnerships with families, outcomes for family and children are improved including parenting capabilities and positive child behavior and functioning (Dempsey & Keen, 2008; Dunst, Trivette & Hamby, 2008).
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This product was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM082070-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.