Family-Centered Practices


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources.

Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

mom, dad and child


DEC recommended practices : enhancing services for young children with disabilities and their families
Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children, 2015
The DEC recommended practices provide guidance to families and professionals about the most effective ways to improve learning outcomes and promote development of young children, birth through age 5, who have, or are at-risk for, developmental delays or disabilities.
Call#: LC 4019.3 .D641 2015 Vol.1

Early Intervention Guidebook for Families and Professionals : Partnering for Success, Second edition
Bonnie Keilty
Teachers College Press, 2016
With a focus on how families and professionals can collaborate effectively so that infants and toddlers learn, grow, and thrive, this newly revised guidebook reflects recent research and best-practices in the field of early intervention.
Call#: WS 350.6 .K27 2016 

Family-Centered Early Intervention : Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments
Sharon Raver
Brookes Publishing, 2015
Offers recommended practices for family-centered, evidence-based intervention and team collaboration to ensure the best possible outcomes for infants and young children involved in early intervention programs.
Call#: LC 4019.3 .R39 2015
Also available as an eBook  

Routines-Based Early Intervention : Supporting Young Children and Their Families
R.A. McWilliam
Brookes Publishing, 2010
A proven model for family-centered intervention in natural environments, routines-based intervention is the approach thousands of professionals trust to improve the lives of young children and families. Now there’s a definitive guide to this highly respected, theoretically sound model-straight from the leading authority on routines-based intervention.
Call#: HV 890 .U6 M48 2010  

Seven Essentials for Family–Professional Partnerships in Early Intervention
Bonnie Keilty, et al.
Teachers College Press, 2017
This book is about digging deeper and looking closer at what it takes to have successful relationships with each and every family. The authors explore seven partnership concepts, brought to life through the words and perspectives of families and professionals themselves.
Call#: WS 350.6 .K34 2017
Also available as an eBook   

Working with Families of Young Children with Special Needs
R.A. McWilliam
Guilford Press, 2010
This book presents research-based best practices for serving families of children with special needs from birth to age 6. It offers indispensable tools for assessing families, identifying and capitalizing on their strengths, providing information, support, and coaching, collaborating with parents and teachers to address children’s functional needs in the context of everyday routines, and coordinating care.
Call#: LC 4019.3 .W67 2010  


Early Intervention: A Routines Based Approach from VEIPD
Created by the Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center (VEIPD) This three part series of short videos featuring three current early intervention service providers sharing their insights into providing supports and services using a routines-based approach.

  • Part 1 features an experienced interventionist sharing her personal journey from a clinical approach to one focusing on family routines and activities as the context for effective early intervention.
  • Part 2 features three early interventionists discussing and demonstrating what intervention looks like when it is provided by collaborating with families during their natural routines and activities.
  • Part 3 features three early interventionists sharing their insights about how they evolved their practices towards a more effective, routines-based intervention approach.

Just Being Kids: Supports And Services For Infants And Toddlers And Their Families In Everyday Routines, Activities And Places
50 min; DVD
JFK Partners/Western Media Products, 2001
Presents six stories that demonstrate recommended practices, as a therapist or early childhood specialist works collaboratively with a family to achieve meaningful goals for their child in everyday activities, and places. All six stories can be watched online at Results Matter Video Library: Just Being Kids.
Call#: WS 350.6 .J96sud 2001

Strategies to Implement Family-Centered Practices in Early Intervention: Recorded Webinar
75 min; online
Illinois Early Intervention Training Program, 2016
This webinar discusses the importance of family-centered intervention, the benefits and challenges, and evidence-based strategies to implement family-centered practices. A PDF of the slides is available.

Partnering with Families in Their Times of Need
60 min; online
Division for Early Childhood, 2020
This web-conversation will explore strategies service coordinators use to engage in family-centered practices, build family capacity and foster opportunities for family and professional collaboration with families who have high needs.


National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice
The National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice promotes family centered practice within organizations and across systems by contributing to the evidence base on family centered interventions and by translating research and evaluation findings into social work practice.


CASEinPoint, 1(6), 1-6
Evidence-Based Definition of Coaching Practices
Dathan Rush and M’Lisa Shelden. (2005)
This CASEinPoint includes an operational definition of coaching practices based on research in the human learning, professional development, and helpgiving practices fields.

Infants & Young Children, 27(4), 305-324
Coaching With Parents in Early Intervention: An Interdisciplinary Research Synthesis
Peggy Kemp and Ann Turnbull. (2014)
The purpose of this article was to synthesize intervention studies using coaching with parents in early intervention with a focus on (a) definitions and descriptions of coaching with parents; (b) characteristics of families and coaches; (c) parameters such as settings, contexts, dosage, and professional development related to coaching; and (d) child and family outcomes.

Journal of Early Intervention, 23(3), 151–164
Everyday Family and Community Life and Children’s Naturally Occurring Learning Opportunities
Carl Dunst, et al.(2000)
This article describes two national surveys that were conducted to identify and categorize the various kinds of activities serving as the sources of learning opportunities for young children birth to 6 years of age in the context of family and community life.

Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42, 379-392
Collaborative Consultation in Natural Environments: Strategies to Enhance Family-Centered Supports and Services
Juliann Woods, et al. (2011)
This article presents current information on recommended practices related to the delivery of early intervention (EI) supports and services to infants and toddlers with, or at risk for, communication deficits and their families.

Young Exceptional Children, 16 (1), 3-15
A Framework for Providing Culturally Responsive Early Intervention Services
Wendy Bradshaw. (2012)
Family-centered practice has long been recognized as the preferred method of delivery for EI services for infants and toddlers who have or are at risk of having disabilities.The purpose of this article is to provide a framework that offers a way for EI service providers to better meet the needs of the culturally diverse children and families they serve. Downloadable PDF is available.

Web Resources

Coaching in Early Childhood
This website offers evidence-based information on coaching from several well-known experts in the field of early childhood. Coaching is a process and style of interaction used by early intervention and early childhood practitioners to build the capacity of family members and other important care providers to promote the child’s learning and development.

Family Guided Routines Based Intervention (FGRBI) and Caregiver Coaching
Florida State University supports this ongoing research endeavor that focuses on developing and validating an early intervention approach that incorporates the Part C of IDEA mandates and the recommended evidence-based practices for supports and services for young children with special needs and their families.

SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library
The SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library supports the inclusion of young children with disabilities birth–five and their families, in early care and education settings. The SpecialQuest materials and approach have been used nationwide, refined over a period of ten years, and have been shown to create and sustain change. Materials on this website are provided at no cost with funding from the Office of Head Start.