Full, Equal and Equitable Partnerships!

The Connecticut Family School Partnerships is made up of five diverse educational and family advocacy partner agencies whose goal is to improve student social, emotional and academic outcomes through strong family, school, and community partnerships.



Advocacy for Children logo

In 1999, Merva Jackson, a social work intern with the former State of Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy, conducted a needs assessment that revealed a profound absence of parent education and training for parents of children with disabilities within the African Caribbean American population in Hartford Connecticut. Among her findings:

  • Little or no information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was being disseminated by schools, agencies or advocacy organizations to families and the larger community.
  • Parents of children with disabilities had significantly limited knowledge or no knowledge of federally protected parental or student rights and the services available for their children.

Determined to educate and empower parents of children with disabilities, Merva founded African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities-better known by its acronym AFCAMP. In March 2001 the grassroots organization was incorporated. She served as the executive director until her passing in 2012.

Today, we serve a diversity of parents, youth and families that need not only special education services, but are also trying to navigate the juvenile justice, child welfare and health systems, including children’s behavioral health. As a voice for systems change, AFCAMP educates, trains and supports parents and youth to become active participants in their education and care, and advocates for policy and program reforms that promote equity and equal access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services within multiple child-serving systems in Connecticut.


Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center logo

Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, Inc. (CPAC) is a statewide nonprofit organization that offers information and support to families of children with any disability or chronic illness, age birth through 26. As Connecticut’s Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center funded under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), the Center is committed to the idea that parents can be the most effective advocates for their children, given the confidence that knowledge and understanding of special education law and its procedures can bring. CPAC works to support, educate and empower families of students with disabilities to be effective advocates and partners in their child’s education. We believe that when families, schools and community partners communicate effectively they develop authentic partnerships, which, in turn, improve student outcomes.

We have focused our efforts to support these partnerships by providing workshops where families and educators can learn together, and developing programs that promote partnerships on a district-wide level, as well as individualized supports for families. 


Capitol Region Education Council logo

Since 1966, the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC), working with and for its member districts, has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in Greater Hartford. CREC began as a grassroots organization of local school districts working together to solve common problems. It is one of six Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) established under Connecticut General Statute 10-66 a-n, which permits local boards of education to establish a RESC as a “public educational authority” for the purpose of “cooperative action to furnish programs and services.” Such intermediate units – that are smaller than state departments of education, yet larger than local school districts – are used to deliver services in about 40 states. The governing Council of CREC is comprised of one representative from each of the 35 school districts in the Capitol Region. The representatives come from each district’s publicly elected board of education to form the CREC Council and to make policy decisions.



State Education Resource Center 50th Logo

SERC was established 50 years ago as a “focal point of action and communication for special education personnel from throughout the state” of Connecticut (CT State Department of Education newsletter, October 1969). We have served local school districts, state-level policymakers, families, community agencies, and other stakeholders by facilitating professional learning, including technical assistance and training; providing resources, in part through a centralized library; and leading a range of other activities and supports over our nearly five decades in operation.

As we evolved, SERC was statutorily tasked to serve the State Board of Education and led the ongoing effort to integrate special and general education, historically divided systems, into a unified approach to education that promotes equitable policies, culturally relevant practices, and accessible structures that develop successful learning communities within schools. We became a state quasi-public agency in 2014, recognizing our unique position to work closely with communities across Connecticut.

All of the agency’s efforts, including in the areas of serving students with disabilities, family engagement, and support for English learners among many others, are designed to address educational equity and opportunity gaps. SERC’s consultants and staff, in collaboration with our partners, build the capacity of educators, service providers, and families to meet the diverse needs of our student population.

SERC recognizes that to be effective in facilitating change that is systemic, effective, and enduring, all stakeholders must be included in the change process. Through partnerships with us, education systems in Connecticut and other states shape their own transformation while SERC facilitates the process and customizes application of research and new thinking. SERC maintains many ongoing, years-long relationships with local education agencies and offers continued support to foster and sustain systemic change.

Through this work, SERC is committed to our vision and mission of equity, excellence, and education.


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The Connecticut Family School Partnerships bring together the expertise and resources of five diverse educational and family advocacy agencies committed to developing a Connecticut family engagement model that creates a culture of full, equal and equitable partnerships between families, schools, and community partners to elevate student success.


55 Van Dyke Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106



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