Reaching out to culturally and linguistically diverse families: strategies and challenges reported by parent training and information center staff
Burke, Meghan M.
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Citation (published version)Zach Rossetti, Meghan M Burke. "Reaching out to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families: Strategies and Challenges Reported by Parent Training and Information Center Staff." Exceptionality, pp. 1 - 17. https://doi.org/10.1080/09362835.2018.1433042
Within special education policy and practice, parents are expected to advocate for their children to receive appropriate special education and related services. However, the majority of parents report feeling disempowered to advocate; families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds may feel especially disempowered. Federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) exist in each state to empower historically underserved (including CLD) parents of children with disabilities. In this study, we examined how PTIs educate and empower CLD families through semi-structured interviews with 13 PTI staff members who work with CLD families across five states. The participants emphasized the importance of strategies such as conducting outreach in local communities and developing parent leaders among the CLD families they support. The findings also indicated that PTIs struggle with addressing external, systemic barriers which influence CLD families. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.