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NDTAC Family Engagement Toolkit

The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school. Families know their child best and can be powerful allies to any program serving their child.

Federally funded school programs require the involvement of family members who have parental rights or an educational surrogate parent. Within the U.S. Department of Education’s statutory requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended in 2015 by the Every Student Succeeds Act, parents are entitled to take part in planning their child’s education services and overall program planning, which allows parents access to program plans, budgets, evaluations, and performance data. To help families become active participants in their child’s education within the juvenile justice system, the National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk (NDTAC) has developed this resource.

This Family Engagement Toolkit is designed for facility and school administrators. It provides tools that can be adapted to promote family involvement in a facility school. The tools are intended to be used by program staff to help encourage families—including those who are reluctant, have been affected by trauma, or are unsure of how to become more involved. Although the primary audience for this toolkit is facility and school administrators, other stakeholders including parent advocates, family organizations, and courts may also use these tools when working with facilities and families.

This Toolkit provides useful templates for facilities to use to engage families in their child’s education. Tools 1–4 are intended for distribution to students' families, and tools 5-7 are intended for use by facility staff. All tool/templates are customizable to meet the unique needs of each facility and the families it serves.


Secure Long Term Settings
Secure Short Term Settings
Youth, Families, Communities, or Advocates

Resource Type

Reference & Implementation Guides
Tips, Tools & Toolkits


Coordination and Collaboration
Family and Community Engagement
Behavior Management Strategies
School Discipline Policies

Authored on

July 28, 2022