About - Family Engagement Inventory

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About the Family Engagement Inventory

Effective family engagement is recognized as a foundation for success across the human services and education fields. Child Welfare Information Gateway developed the Family Engagement Inventory (FEI), a cross-disciplinary collection of information, to assist professionals from several fields of practice learn how family engagement is defined and implemented. This interactive and practical tool can help professionals understand the differences and the commonalities about family engagement and improve collaboration and outcomes for families across child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, and early childhood education.

How to Use the FEI

The design of the FEI provides the user with a rich inventory of resources and information about family engagement in an easy-to-navigate, practical, and interactive format.


Understanding the following terminology will help you use the FEI:

  • The disciplines are the five fields of practice in the FEI, which include child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, and early childhood education. The Venn diagram represents the five disciplines included in the FEI.
  • The domains are the eight topics or knowledge areas that are covered for each discipline within the FEI.
  • The commonalities are those aspects or strategies of family engagement that were identified in more than one discipline.

Users can quickly compare themes, approaches, and resources across the five disciplines and multiple domains to inform cross-discipline training and collaboration efforts. View, access, and download information and resources on family engagement to share with professionals in the field.

How to use the FEI:

Step 1: In the navigation bar at the top of the page, click on the domain (e.g., Definitions, Themes) you would like to explore.

Step 2: Use the Narrow by Discipline drop-down box to add and remove disciplines for easy comparison.

Step 3: Learn more about common approaches to engaging families across disciplines and explore the research by clicking the PDF links included in the box at the top of the page (under the Narrow by Discipline option).

Step 4: Examine the FEI synthesis summary to learn about how the FEI information was researched, collected, and synthesized.

Step 5: Apply this knowledge in your work with cross-disciplinary teams:

  • Share the Commonalities Across Family Engagement documents and discuss how this improved understanding of commonalities and differences across domains helps the various disciplines work together more effectively to achieve better outcomes.
  • Share examples of cross-disciplinary teams that are using the FEI to work more effectively with families based on their improved common understanding of family engagement.
  • Describe how using the FEI has helped these teams identify where differences or similarities in their engagement goals or strategies caused problems or created opportunities with family engagement.
  • Describe how these teams worked together to identify and implement changes in the way they work with families.
  • Share evidence (e.g., data, stories) of improved family outcomes due to a cross-disciplinary teams working more effectively together based on their new common understanding of family engagement.