Family Involvement

Supporting collaborations with families to ensure effective student transitions

Studies show that positive outcomes are observed when families are involved in the educational experiences of their children. Every way that parents' and children's lives intersect are opportunities for children to recognize their value and potential. These positive self-attitudes are foundational for the development of self-determination and self-advocacy which are predictors of success in postsecondary education and training, employment and independent living. The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: the Collaborative (NTACT:C) includes family engagement as one of the five primary practices in transition programming with the following sub-practices:

  • Family Involvement
  • Family Empowerment
  • Family Preparation (Kohler et al., 2016)

This section contains the following list of pages where you can learn more about family involvement.

Some of the documented benefits of family involvement are as follows:

  • Increased student participation in postsecondary education (Kohler, Gothberg, Fowler & Coyle, 2016)
  • Increased post-school success in employment (Test, Fowler, & Kohler, 2013)
  • Increased post-school success in education and employment (Test, Fowler, & Kohler, 2013)
  • Increased student achievement (Henderson & Berla, 1994)
  • Increased positive student attitudes (Henderson & Berla, 1994)
  • Family participation in education increases levels of autonomous behavior (Doren, Gau and Lindstrom, 2012)
  • Family participation in education encourages higher student aspirations for school and career development (Henderson & Berla, 1994)


Doren, B., Gau, J. M., & Lindstrom, L. E. (2012). The relationship between parent expectations and postschool outcomes of adolescents with disabilities. Exceptional Children, 79, 7– 23.

Henderson, A. T., & Berla, N. (1994). A new generation of evidence: The family is critical to student achievement. St. Louis, MO: Danforth Foundation and Flint, MI: Mott Foundation.

Kohler, P. D., Gothberg, J. E., Fowler, C., and Coyle, J. (2016). Taxonomy for transition programming 2.0: A model for planning, organizing, and evaluating transition education, services, and programs. Western Michigan University. Retrieved from default/files/Tax_Trans_Prog_0.pdf

Test, D.W., Fowler, C.H., Richter, S.M., White, J., Mazzotti, V., Walker, A.R., Kohler, P., & Kortering, L. (2009, August). Evidence-based practices in secondary transition. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 115-128. Retrieved from 2014/03/Evidence-Based-Practices-and-Predictors-in-Secondary-Transition.pdf

Test, D.W., Fowler, C., and Kohler, P. (2013, January). Evidence-based practices and predictors in secondary transition: What we know and what we still need to know. Charlotte, NC: National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center. Retrieved from /EBPP_Exec_Summary_2016_12_13_16.pdf