Fostering Family-centered Practices Through a Family-created Portfolio

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011

Publication Title

School Community Journal


When a child has disabilities, families and professionals must communicate their concerns and goals for the child. Often these concerns are expressed as weaknesses within a deficits-based framework. The use of a strengths-based, family-created portfolio is a communication strategy for reconceptualizing a child from the family’s perspective in terms of individuality, strengths, and motivations. This article takes a narrative approach to present one family’s experience with a portfolio system in order to personalize the discussion and interpret the possible utilization of this family-generated portfolio as an aid for families communicating the needs of their child to educators. A family-created portfolio is a practice that gives families more control over their involvement by providing them with an opportunity to express their child’s individuality beyond who the child is perceived as at school.


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