Family engagement is about more than caring.

New research shows that many people feel that family engagement is dependent on how much the adults in a child’s life – especially parents and teachers – “care,” and that lower-income families do not engage because they do not value education.

This is a big problem for advocates who are trying to gain support for well-structured family engagement programs and strategic policies that have the potential to advance equity in our education system, and ultimately close the achievement gap.

But there are resources that can help.

Research shows what
stands in our way.

What stands between current public thinking and widespread adoption of family engagement as a core educational strategy is better communication. The FrameWorks Institute, a nonprofit think tank that maps the public consciousness surrounding social issues of all kinds, conducted ground-breaking research on how the public thinks about family engagement and what can help expand that understanding. After three years of research, 72 focused interviews, and more than 6,000 participants, the research provides clear recommendations on how to talk about family engagement so that people will understand it, value it, and support it.

To learn about the significant differences between how experts explain family engagement and how the public, practitioners, and policymakers feel about it, read our Map the Gaps report.

Download the Map the Gaps Report

The FrameWorks Institute and the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) have released the final report based on this research, a Message Brief that provides detailed recommendations on how to use the research to more effectively communicate about family engagement.

Download the Message Brief

Apply the research to your own communications.

In the coming months, we’ll release tools and provide additional resources to help you incorporate the research findings and recommendations into your own communications. We’ve started with an easy, downloadable booklet that captures some of the most important takeaways from the research, so you can begin aligning your own messaging about family engagement right away.

Download the booklet

Sign up to learn more about the tools and resources.

Together, we can create change.

To succeed in affecting a wholesale change in public understanding around family engagement, we must create a comprehensive, grassroots movement that is embraced by every organization and person in the field of family engagement. To lead that effort, a coalition of organizations, listed to the right, have come together to form the National Alliance for Family Engagement. These organizations have already dedicated significant time and resources to the advancement of this campaign.

Now it’s your turn.

Please join us.

National Alliance Members

  • Afterschool Alliance
  • Brazelton Touchpoints Center
  • Campaign for Grade Level Reading (CGLR)
  • COFI – Community Organizing & Family Issues
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
  • Global Family Research Project (GFRP)
  • HIPPY USA – Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters
  • Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)
  • Joan Ganz Cooney Center
  • Learning Heroes
  • MAEC – Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium
  • National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE)
  • National Center for Families Learning (NCFL)
  • National Family Support Network
  • National Parent Leadership Institute (NPLI)
  • National PTA Center for Family Engagement
  • Parent Teacher Home Visit Project (PTHV)
  • Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP)
  • Scholastic, Inc.
  • United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)