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Participatory action research (PAR) is an approach to research that encourages researchers and those who will benefit from the research (in our case, families, professionals and policy leaders) to work together as full partners in all phases of the research. With its special emphasis on the results of the research and how these results will be helpful, PAR helps to ensure that the results of the research are meaningful and actually make a difference in the lives of families. All members of the PAR team are involved from the very beginning of a research effort, and the team as a whole: Determines the research questions Designs the research project itself Carries out all the research activities Analyzes and interprets the data Shares the research result in ways that are meaningful to families.

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