Family Engagement



Family engagement is families, education programs, and community partners working together to help children and youth learn, grow and prepare for their future. For many years, the Family Engagement program within our center worked with the Ohio Department of Education across projects to support schools in implementing  practices to support family-school partnerships and received federal funding to become Ohio’s Statewide Family Engagement Center.


We inspire and equip schools, community organizations, and families to work together by providing information and training on high-impact family engagement practices to improve outcomes for teachers, students, families, and communities. 

Our program:

  • provides training and tools to families to support their child’s learning, emotional health, and plans for the future
  • supports approaches to family engagement that are lasting and integrated into family life and the school system
  • contributes new research and survey tools to the field of family engagement, in collaboration with faculty and students at The Ohio State University
  • builds professional training and tools for school leaders, teachers, and community partners to build their capacity to work with families


We acknowledge that we have a critical sphere of influence in training educators, guiding individuals and school systems in addressing inequities in power, accessibility, and privilege in relations between schools and families. The team seeks out experts in social justice to ensure that those looking for information are receiving accurate and relevant information. We also took steps to add racially diverse personnel to the team who can assist in spotting racial inequities and identifying culturally appropriate ways to address them. We name race and the role it plays in the experiences of all students and families by leveraging our technical assistance and training platforms. Through all of our work, we commit to seeking out and raising issues of disproportionality, accessibility, and inequities and seeing and leading opportunities for examining issues of racial justice and advocating for change.

  • We highlighted racism in education and family engagement as a featured presentation for our Family Engagement Leadership Summit, and incorporated expert speakers and panelists who are racially diverse. 
  • We leverage the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center (OhSFEC) grant monthly digital News and Guidance resource as a space to be attentive to inclusive and honoring language, and directly acknowledge the importance of addressing anti-Black racism in family engagement. We are committed to using all issues to offer guidance for expanding family engagement practices to increase the trust and inclusion of minoritized families.
  • We are also committed to making inclusion and addressing racial inequities a priority for our grant Advisory Council. The council learned from Dr. Kenyona Walker, Research Specialist, on the topic of educational and family engagement at the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Advisory Council meeting. We are offering additional learning opportunities for council members who serve as ambassadors to organizations and communities across Ohio.

Program Team

Sarah DeShon

Family Engagement Learning Coordinator