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  • Engaging CaLD families in Education Support Settings (2018–2019)
A close moment between a grey-haired father with his adolescent son who has Down Syndrom. Father and son laughing togetherm their foreheads touching.

Engaging CaLD families in Education Support Settings (2018–2019)

Issue addressed

The project sought to improve the capability of State Government support schools and support centres to engage parents and carers of children with a disability from a CaLD background. The project worked on the premise that engaged parents bring benefit to the education of their children and therefore facilitating enhanced parental engagement is a desirable goal.

Project partners

The project was funded through the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building programme delivered through the Department of Communities – Disability Services. The project collaborated with Therapy Focus who were able to assist EDAC with elements of the workshop as well as share with participants appropriate experiences from their work environment.

What we did

The project worked with six schools in the Perth metro area, three education support schools and three education support centres. The project initially examined how culture-laden perceptions can influence the way schools engage CaLD parents through both formal and informal interviews with parents and school staff. These insights were used to develop a bespoke training workshop aimed at facilitating the development of strategies to strengthen schools’ CaLD engagement practices.

During the workshops, staff were able to contribute towards the development of a set of CaLD engagement guidelines to be used specifically within their respective schools. These six sets of guidelines were then consolidated into an overarching CaLD Engagement Guidelines resource that encompassed strategic ideas from each of the training workshops.


The project provided training to 295 staff including teachers, education assistants and administrative staff. Staff received four hours of cultural competency training with workshop modules including: the development of an understanding of the impact of migration; understanding how culture-laden perceptions of disability can influence the outcome of engagement; develop strategies to facilitate a framework of good CaLD engagement practices; and how to work in partnership with suitably competent interpreters.

The CaLD Engagement Guidelines resource was distributed to all education support settings in Western Australia to extend the learning of the project beyond the six participating

(Image credit: Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash)