Serving on Groups that Make Decisions: A Guide for Families

Serving on Groups That Make Decisions: A Guide for Families is intended to be a useful tool for anyone who is currently serving, or wants to serve, on a decision-making group. This can include parents, students, educators, administrators and community members. It was researched, developed, and written collaboratively by a broad group of statewide agencies, school representatives and family members across Wisconsin. The result is a guide that focuses on developing specific skill sets using research-based strategies while being broadly applicable to a diverse audience for a more effective and robust decision-making group. Serving on Groups applies to all decision-making groups, not just in education or specifically to one state. 

This resource, published by the WI Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support (WI FACETS) and revised in 2015, was developed as part of the State Personnel Development Grant (2007-2012) from the WI Department of Public Instruction under the Office of Special Education Programs.


The guidebook

The creation of the Serving on Groups Guidebook came from an identified need to support families in serving on decision-making groups, but the information and structure of the book is intended to support anyone serving on those groups. It is a great introduction for some, a welcome refresher for others, and a resource for all, including experts and mentors, so everyone can come to the table ready to serve. 

The sections of the Guidebook are:

  • Section 1: Opportunities to Get Involved
  • Section 2: Types of Groups
  • Section 3: Processes Groups Use
  • Section 4: Tools Groups Use
  • Section 5: Tips and Strategies for Groups
  • Section 6: Understanding Data
  • Section 7: The Role of Families on Groups
  • Section 8: Skills for Serving on Groups

Guidebook modules are available here.

It’s important to use this resource and website in a way that is going to be most meaningful for you and your group. If you need to use just one section of the Guidebook, use just that section! If you want to take the resource as a whole curriculum, that works too. The intention of the Guidebook is to meet the needs of the user. Have the resource work for you!


Leading by convening

Leading by Convening, although similar to Serving on Groups, is a resource on how to effectively engage and lead through applied essential habits - such as coalescing around issues, ensuring relevant participation and doing work together - to help achieve overall goals. 

Leading by Convening and Serving on Groups are considered "both sides of the coin." Although it is not necessary to use both resources when serving on a group, it is highly recommended to utilize both resources for producing the most positive and efficient outcomes when making decisions in a group setting. 



The Spanish edition of the guidebook has been updated, translated, and reprinted. Click on Guidebook in the menu bar above to print PDFs of each section or to order your copy of the guidebook today!

 english guidebook cover