Family Engagement: The Missing Link

By Danielle Asher & Vivett Dukes

#SafeSpaceConvos is a Twitter chat led and hosted by teacher Vivett Dukes on alternating Mondays at 8:30pm ET. In a forum that encourages honest dialogue and connection, we come together to learn, grow, and co-construct solutions to pressing problems for students.

In this #SafeSpaceConvos chat, Vivett was joined by co-host Danielle Asher. Danielle is the Director of Curriculum and Training for Family Leadership Network, a division of the social justice nonprofit, Choice For All in Roosevelt, NY. In this role, she works with families and communities to shift the culture of what leadership looks like while working towards anti-racist and equitable systemic change. Danielle works locally and nationally to raise the profile of authentic parent engagement.

Chat Highlights

Q1: What major issues are students facing today that could be improved with strong-family partnerships?


Q2: If engagement means “to do with,” what might authentic family engagement look and feel like?


Q3: In what ways could schools partner with their communities to provide children a more well-rounded and caring learning environment?


Q4: One aspect of trauma is the feeing of being unsafe or helpless due to past occurrences. In what ways should family engagement be a trauma-informed practice? What’s the potential impact on students’ personal and academic achievement?

Resource Round-Up

Asher, D. (2018, November 29). Family engagement: The missing link to school reform. New York School Talk. Available at:

Edutopia. (2016, September 26). Family engagement: Resource roundup. Available at:

Ginwright, S. (2018, May 31). The future of healing: Shifting from trauma informed care to healing centered engagement. Medium. Available at:

Henderson, A. T., Mapp, K. L., Johnson, V. R., & Davies, D. (2007). Beyond the bake sale: The essential guide to family-school partnerships. New York: The New Press.

National Association of School Psychologists. (2015). Creating trauma-sensitive schools: Supportive policies and practices for learning [Research summary]. Bethesda, MD: Author. Available at:

University of Washington – The Equitable Parent-School Collaboration Research Project. (2015, April). Families in the driver’s seat: Parent-driven lessons and guidelines for collective engagement. Seattle, WA: Author. Available at:


Be bold. Be authentic. Join #SafeSpaceConvos

You’re invited to join the next chat on Monday, December 17, 2018 at 8:30pm ET. You can also read through these archived chats for insights and resources from your peers.