Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

July/August 2019Vol. 20, No. 6Prevention Tool for Families at Risk of Child Welfare Involvement

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC) offers practice guides for families to assist practitioners and families supporting young children with, or at risk for, developmental delays or disabilities. Because children with disabilities are three times more likely to experience abuse and neglect than their peers without disabilities, the guides may be a useful primary prevention tool for families at risk for child welfare involvement. The practice guides contain checklists and guidance materials for practitioners to share with families.

ECTAC's comprehensive, evidence-informed practice guides for families cover the following topics, as recommended by the Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children: assessment, environment, family issues, instruction, parent-child interaction, teaming and collaboration, and transition (e.g., from hospital to home, from early intervention to preschool special education services, from preschool to kindergarten). They include guidance related to learning activities, family supports and resources, behaviors, mutual play, and special education.

The guides also explain the importance of the practices, illustrate practices with vignettes and videos, describe how to do a practice, and include indicators to know if a practice is working.

The Practice Guides for Families series can be found at