Family Engagement at the Systems Level: A Framework for Action
The value of incorporating families’ lived experience in systems-level activities is well understood by health care providers and policymakers. However, little detail exists in the literature about what information and supports are needed to assist families and professionals throughout the process of engaging with families. In this article, researchers present a framework for meaningful family engagement, developed through a review of peer-reviewed publications and grey literature, key informant interviews, and collaboration with a Family/Professional Expert Workgroup.
Their findings are grouped into four action-oriented domains: commitment to routinely engaging families in systems change work, transparency and shared understanding between families and professionals around the work to be done, appropriate representation of the population of families being served, and assessment of the impact that resulted from family input. Adoption of this framework by child-serving entities will support a sustainable, equitable, and meaningful process in which families can contribute to policy development and improvement.