Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Published in Handbook of Research in School Consultation, edited by William P. Erchul and Susan M. Sheridan. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., New York, 2008. ISBN: 9780805853360. Copyright © 2008 Taylor & Francis Group LLC. Used by permission.


The importance of parent involvement and home-school partnerships has been clearly established (Christenson, 2004). Research has shown unequivocally that when parents are involved in their children's educational programs, children, families, classrooms, and schools all benefit (Christenson & Sheridan, 2001). Professional organizations and the national government have also recognized the positive impact of home-school partnerships. Policy calls for schools to engage in deeper partnerships with parents and communities to meet the increasing academic, behavioral, and social needs of students (No Child Left Behind [NCLB], 2002). In fact, NCLB specifically calls for "local education agencies to assist school personnel to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners; implement and coordinate parent programs; and build ties between parents and the school" (Pub. L. 107-111,1118). As a result, both the National Association of School Psychologists and the interorganizational School Psychology Futures Conference have identified the development of home-school partnership models as a top priority in the field (Christenson, 2004; Ysseldyke et al., 1997).

Strong, positive relationships between the home and school systems are essential in addressing the needs of children and families and have demonstrated positive outcomes for parents, students, and teachers alike (Haynes, Comer, & Hamilton-Lee, 1989; Masten & Coatsworth, 1998). However, few models have been specified and validated that bring families and schools together in joint problem solving and decision making within a consultation framework. Conjoint behavioral consultation (CBC) is one exception. CBC is an indirect method of service delivery that facilitates a collaborative working relationship among the key individuals in a child's life by establishing linkages between the home and school systems. Given its conceptual importance to the model, collaboration is defined here as a relational process between participants by which unique information, expertise, values, and goals are shared, and the insight gleaned from each party is incorporated into a joint intervention and evaluation plan for which all bear some responsibility.