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CFEC focuses primarily on serving families with low incomes, English learners, students with disabilities, students in foster care, migrant students, students who are homeless, or families who come from traditionally marginalized communities.

In the course of working with these families, CFEC makes its tools and trainings available to all stakeholders through its website and other avenues.

What does CFEC do?

1. Provide capacity-building training and technical assistance
Beginning fall 2019, CFEC’s regional liaisons will deliver training and technical assistance in family engagement directly to families, schools, districts, and local communities across South Carolina.

University of South Carolina College of Education’s (CoE) Research Institute and members of the CoE faculty will work with CFEC’s leadership team and regional liaisons to ensure that all CFEC trainings and technical assistance are culturally responsive and grounded in the most current research. In addition, CFEC liaisons will provide ongoing, intensive training and technical assistance in developing, implementing, and evaluating school-wide family engagement plans to 24 qualifying schools.

Over the life of the grant, CFEC will provide up to 40 qualifying teachers with an opportunity to earn a $1,000 stipend for developing, implementing, and evaluating a classroom-level family engagement plan with ongoing technical assistance from the CFEC liaison in their region.

2. Build statewide infrastructure to support family engagement

Horizontal networks: CFEC will serve as a hub that connects families and schools with CFEC community partners and friends who provide a broad range of services and resources to address children’s academic and developmental needs.

Vertical networks: CFEC will also assist schools and communities to engage families from cradle to career by facilitating the growth of new networks between early childhood and K-12 systems.

3. Using organizational readiness and Getting to Outcomes™ to improve results

CFEC will utilize the implementation science framework Getting To Outcomes to provide schools and families with a road map for planning, implementing, and evaluating their family engagement work. GTO prompts users to assess needs; identify specific goals and outcomes; utilize evidence-based practices with consideration of fit and capacity; plan and implement with quality, engage in ongoing evaluation and continuous improvement, and take steps to sustain successful activities.

In its work with the 24 qualifying schools, CFEC will also utilize an organizational readiness assessment tool developed by the Wandersman Center to measure initial levels of schools’ readiness to implement family engagement practices. The results of these assessments will be used to identify effective interventions to build readiness in areas where it is low.

Why invest in family-school-community partnerships?

Over 40 years of research has found that increased levels of family engagement are associated with numerous desired student outcomes including improvements in student achievement, behavior, attendance, and graduation rates.