Background: Partnerships between family and nursing staff in nursing homes are essential to address residents' needs and wishes. Collaboration is needed to create partnerships; nonetheless, challenges exist. Aim: This study aimed to gain insights into the experiences of families collaborating with staff. Method: Semi-structured interviews were held with 30 family caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia. Findings: Data reflected three themes, which shaped collaboration with staff from families' perspective, 'communication', 'trust and dependency' and 'involvement'. Discussion: Good communication appeared to be a requisite condition for having trust in staff and quality of involvement in residents' life. Good communication was described as having informal contact with staff, which enabled family and staff to build a personal connection. Consequently, this seemed to increase trust and satisfaction regarding involvement. Conclusion: Findings suggest that increasing informal contact and building a personal connection should be a priority for staff in order to improve collaboration and to create partnerships with families.