• Family Engagement and Leadership in Title V Programs

    In 2014 and 2015, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs conducted a survey about family engagement policies and practices in federally funded Title V maternal and child health programs and programs for children and youth with special health care needs. The findings provide a snapshot of strategies to support meaningful family engagement, effective and innovative practices, and areas of need for improvement and technical assistance.

  • Creating and Sustaining Effective Hospital Family Advisory Councils

    Establishing Family Advisory Councils (FACs) in children's hospitals is one means of ensuring that families have a strong voice regarding the care delivered to their children. To encourage development of FACs that truly have an impact, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health provided grant funding for the formation of the California Patient & Family Centered Care Network, a statewide collaborative composed of parents and providers representing 15 pediatric hospitals and clinics. A new report summarizes the work of the Network, and offers guidelines for establishing effective FACs.
  • A Guide to Establishing Effective Hospital Family Advisory Councils

    When families feel that they are partners with their children's health care providers, the quality of care improves and parents' fears and anxieties are reduced. One means of ensuring that families have a strong voice regarding their children's care is establishment of Family Advisory Councils (FACs) in health care organizations. The California Patient & Family Centered Care Network, a statewide collaborative composed of parents and providers representing 15 pediatric hospitals and clinics, has developed a checklist for establishing effective Councils.

  • Project Leadership: Effecting Change, One Parent at a Time

    Families of children with special health care needs have real-world experience that could help make health care policies more family-centered and culturally competent. However, many lack the training and confidence to make their voices heard. Project Leadership, operated by Family Voices of California, offers a comprehensive training curriculum and mentoring program that prepares families to engage in public policy advocacy.

  • In Their Own Words: Improving the Care Experience of Families with Children with Special Health Care Needs

    Straight talk from 52 parents highlights the limitations of the current system of care for children with special health care needs and their families. A new report summarizes findings from 10 focus groups in which family members discussed what their lives are like, how well their families’ needs are being met, and how the health care system could be improved. The report describes four themes that emerged, and offers dozens of direct heartfelt quotes from focus group participants.

  • Reflections and Responses: Six Models for Understanding How Families Experience the System of Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs

    In 2009, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health commissioned a study of the experiences of families in obtaining care for their children with special health care needs. While the multitude of challenges families face is well documented, this study was unique in that it sought to identify patterns of experiences through observations and interviews of a small subset of families. The researchers developed six models of experience. In 2013, stakeholders were systematically interviewed for their responses and reflections on the six models. The findings from this second study strongly support the notion that the models have the potential to contribute to achieving a better understanding of families' experiences, potentially leading to system improvement.

  • A Review of the Literature Pertaining to Family-Centered Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs

    For children with special health care needs, ideal health services must be grounded in "family-centered care," which includes the planning, organization and delivery of health care that involves a partnership between families, patients and providers. Such care meets the physical emotional, developmental, and social needs of children, and also supports the family's relationship with the child's health care providers and recognizes the family's customs and values. This new literature review provides an overview of findings from selected research on family-centered care for CSHCN. It examines what has been learned about the problems families face in having their needs met, and how high-quality family-centered care might be developed and implemented.

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