Our History

Founded in 1983 as the Harvard Family Research Project, we have an established track record in defining and advancing the fields of family, school, and community engagement.

We’re most proud of our:

● Groundbreaking work on the use of the case method to engage families in an ecology of learning,

● Leadership in the U.S. Department of Education’s National Parental Information and Resource Center’s Technical Assistance Center

● Preparation of a seminal report on the first Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework

● Contributions to new approaches to evaluate philanthropic, policy, and program initiatives.

● Creation of the first database of afterschool evaluations

● Development of a challenge paper to shift mindsets and practice in family engagement

We work across boundaries—with early childhood and afterschool organizations, schools, digital media, libraries, museums, and others working on behalf of children and families—to ensure that families are empowered in children’s learning, from early childhood to young adulthood.

We encourage global connections by lifting up and sharing innovative family and community engagement strategies, research, and practices. We have shared our expertise with educators and philanthropies in Brazil, Chile, China, and Australia.

Our Influence

Policymakers, foundations, educators, and nonprofits seek us out to help develop and improve their strategies for engaging all families to have a voice in their children’s learning.

We are at the table with local, state, and federal decision makers as they develop, strengthen, scale, and sustain family and community engagement efforts and policies.

We inform the strategies of philanthropic foundations and national initiatives. We offer advice and technical assistance to national educational organizations, school districts, and community-based nonprofits.

Our Projects

We are a long-standing and trusted partner to researchers, educators, policymakers, philanthropies, and leaders of child-and family-serving organizations.

Over the years, we have served on boards and advisory committees for organizations, including National Academy of Sciences Board on Children, Youth, and Families, World Bank, MacArthur Foundation Network on Successful Pathways Through Middle Childhood, State Policy and Research for Early Education Working Group, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement, FamLAB SPARK Grants, Joan Ganz Cooney Center, STAR Net Science-Technology Activities & Resources for Libraries, and Family Math Roadmap Coordinating Committee, Education First.

Meet the Team

Our Advisors