B. Research

As part of evidence-based practice, families and practitioners can turn to the best available research to answer questions and solve practice dilemmas. The best available research should be current and of high quality, have information about how the practice was implemented and whether it was effective, and be relevant to the situation in the practice dilemma.

Terms related to forming trusting partnerships with families are often used interchangeably – family-professional partnerships, family-provider relationships, family-centered helpgiving practices, family engagement practices, and family-centered care. All of these terms reflect the importance of the relationship between families and early childhood practitioners.

Learn more about the effectiveness research on family-centered helpgiving practices by reading Handout 4.4: Research Summary on Family-Centered Helpgiving Practices. This summary is based on a research synthesis on family-centered helpgiving practices, which are a set of practices similar to the partnership-oriented practices described in this module.

Audio 4.1: Perspectives of Dr. Beth Harry

Dr. Beth Harry, a professor and chair of special education at the University of Miami, discusses the importance of earning the trust of parents from diverse backgrounds through demonstrating respect for their perspectives. Dr. Harry has described the transforming impact of her daughter with special needs on her personal and professional life. She is a nationally recognized leader in research related to cultural diversity within the field of special education, especially on the topic of family-professional partnerships (running time: 2 min., 56 sec.).