This brief presents six key steps to guide practitioners and evaluators in assessing family engagement efforts:
- Use data to plan and set goals.
- Develop a logic model to connect strategies and outcomes.
- Seek to understand both implementation and outcomes.
- Collect data using a variety of sources.
- Analyze data with qualitative and quantitative approaches.
- Learn from data for continuous program improvement.
The brief is based on an evaluation of the Family Engagement Impact Project, which was initiated by the Heising-Simons Foundation to align early childhood programs, school districts, and community organizations in engaging families and teachers to support children’s learning. The project enhanced the capacity of communities, professionals, and parents to engage in children’s learning and improve educational outcomes for low-income immigrant children from birth through age 8. Funds were awarded to strengthen public-private partnerships, coordinate and integrate family engagement efforts across organizations, and leverage existing community resources.
The project had three phases: planning, implementation, and sustainability. Mathematica Policy Research evaluated the implementation phase.