School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Shanna Nicole Baker


parents, home-based, disabilities, intervention, Maslow, Epstein, case study, special education, disabilities, IEP, IFSP, early intervention, head start


Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this qualitative collective case study was to describe parent participation for home-based educators and parents at an Early Head Start home-based program in rural Appalachia. Parental participation in the Early Head Start home-based program was generally defined as the active participation of children with disabilities’ parents in a home-based program guided by home-based educators through the implementation of early intervention services. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs guided this study, as it relates to both identifying barriers that may prevent parents from being involved and illuminates how Early Head Start educators help families meet growth and developmental needs. The Epstein model was also a guiding factor due to the six types of parental involvement outlined in the theory. Data were collected from home-based educators and parents through individual interviews, focus groups, and document analysis. Triangulation and member checking through transcriptions were used to confirm the validity and reliability of the data collected. First cycle coding methods that included description coding and in vivo coding were used with pattern coding, a second cycle coding method, to analyze the data. The major themes of the study included meaningful interactions, building family partnerships, partnerships in the community, and participation. A majority of parents involved in previous and current enrollments have a positive experience with the home-based program. Views differ among home-based educators and parents regarding the barriers preventing parental participation. Further research recommendations and implications are presented for stakeholders to further improve the home-based program.