• December 2016
  • Vol. 17, No. 9

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Updated Family Engagement Inventory

Family engagement is recognized as a foundation for success across the human services and education fields. Child Welfare Information Gateway recently updated information and resources on the Family Engagement Inventory (FEI). The FEI is an interactive web-based tool designed to provide professionals in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, and early childhood education with a rich inventory of resources about family engagement and how it is defined and implemented across these fields of practice.

The FEI aims to help practitioners, managers, and system leaders understand the commonalities and differences in family engagement in order to support cross-system collaboration among multiple systems that often work with the same families. Whereas most evidence reviews focus on the effectiveness of a program within a given discipline, the FEI focuses on a strategy across disciplines and puts the latest and most reliable, practical information about engaging families into the hands of those who work directly with families, manage programs, and lead systems.

Information Gateway staff conducted an extensive review of published literature and information about family engagement best practices, consulted with experts from all five disciplines, and incorporated expert feedback into the inventories for the respective disciplines. This feedback process ensured a continuous focus on both the utility and the rigor of the review and distilled the information gathered into four aspects (domains) of family engagement: (1) definitions, (2) themes, (3) benefits, and (4) strategies at the practice, program, and system levels. In addition, the FEI includes a resources section that offers links to information and websites that provide additional information about family engagement processes, methods, and programs.

The FEI is accessible through the Child Welfare Information Gateway website at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fei.

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