Assessing Family Engagement

Child- and family-serving systems of care should be engaging families at all levels, including in direct services delivered at the individual level, and at the systems-level where policies, practices, and services are created or amended.
Family Voices has developed tools to assess family engagement at both the systems-level (the Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tool) and the individual-level (the Family-Centered Care Assessment).

The Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tools 

The Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tools include:

A User’s Guide

  • Provides instructions for use of the Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tool
  • How to score the tool and use your results
  • Appendices includes example uses and definitions of terms

The Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tool (FESAT)

  • A 20-item self-assessment tool that organizational staff and families use together to assess family engagement in policies, programs, and other systems-level initiatives

FESAT Score Sheet

  • An excel file that helps organizations understand if staff and families had the information and supports they needed to participate in systems-level initiatives

The Family Engagement in Systems (FES) Toolkit

  • A compilation of strategies and resources to help improve family engagement

Webinar: Intro to the FESAT

  1. Learn about the various uses of the FESAT.
  2. Preview the supporting set of resources in the FES Toolkit.
  3. Learn how the FESAT could be used with your organizational partners to assess and improve family engagement in systems-level initiatives.

The FESAT is available for use free of charge. Please complete the form at the link below and you will be redirected to a page where you can download the Users’ Guide, FESAT, Score Sheet, and FES Toolkit. We will not share your information; we request this information to track usage of the FESAT and potentially to contact you relating to any need for technical assistance and/or your experiences with the FESAT.

Contact Beth Dworetzky at for questions or technical assistance in use of the tools.

What Users are Saying About the Tools

“The language in the tools sets a standard for family engagement and for what meaningful family engagement in a systems-level change looks like.”

“Family engagement exists on paper, but it is not always meaningful. I would like to see the FESAT and FES Toolkit be used by all Title V and Medicaid programs.”

Additional Materials

Issue Brief: A Framework for Assessing Family Engagement

Learn about the four domains of family engagement and the key criteria that support meaningful family engagement in systems-level initiatives.

Literature Review: Family Engagement in Systems

An environmental scan of peer-reviewed and white papers that describe systems that are currently engaging families in systems-change.

Complete your gift to help keep families at the center of children’s health care

I'm ready
Not today

Our Vision

With families at the center of health care, all children and youth reach their full potential and health disparities are eliminated.

Our Mission

Family Voices is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families—including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.

In honor of