Family-Professional Partnerships in Low-Resourced Communities: A Systematic Literature Review

Amanda N. Johnston, Meghan M. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


High quality family-professional partnerships promote the personal, social, and academic growth of students with disabilities. However, due to systemic barriers, such partnerships can be difficult, especially for families from low-resourced communities. Using the Sunshine Model, the purpose of this systematic literature review was to characterize the literature about family-professional partnerships among families of children with disabilities from low-resourced communities. Altogether, 10 studies were identified. In most studies, participants reported poor family-professional partnerships. Facilitators of strong partnerships included professionals who: attempted to form relationships with families, provided families with training opportunities and resources, cared for students, and encouraged families to ask questions. Barriers to partnerships included: unfamiliarity with the school or special education system, limited familial support, the differing views between families and professionals, unique barriers due to being low-resourced, and cultural and linguistic barriers. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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