Family-centered care has been discussed and promoted most prominently in the context of child health, and especially concerning chronic conditions of childhood. This approach provides an expanded view of how to work with children and families. Family-centered care is made up of a set of values, attitudes, and approaches to services for children with special needs and their families. Family-centered care recognizes that each family is unique; that the family is the constant in the child’s life; and that they are the experts on the child’s abilities and needs. The family works with service providers to make informed decisions about the services and supports the child and family receive. In family-centered service, the strengths and needs of all family members are considered.
Family-centered care reflects a shift from the traditional focus on the biomedical aspects of a child’s condition to a concern with seeing the child in context of their family and recognizing the primacy of family in the child’s life. The principles argue in favor of an approach that respects families as integral and coequal parts of the health care team. This approach is expected to improve the quality and safety of a patient’s care by helping to foster communication between families and health care professionals. Furthermore, by taking family/patient input and concerns into account, the family feels comfortable working with professionals on a plan of care, and professionals are “on board” in terms of what families expect with medical interventions and health outcomes. Family-centered approaches to health care intervention also generally lead to wiser allocation of health care resources, as well as greater patient and family satisfaction.
A 3-page handout from MCHB that defines family-centered care, outlines the principles of family-centered care, and includes the role of cultural competency in family-centered care. Includes introductory letter from Dr. Merle MacPherson, Department of Health and Human Services.
A 3-page handout from MCHB that defines family-centered care, outlines the principles of family-centered care, and includes the role of cultural competency in family-centered care.
The User’s Guide provides a detailed set of steps to use the Family and Provider Tools for a full assessment of a practice setting or family. In addition, the tool may be used as an educational tool to build awareness and knowledge of family-centered care for families, youth, providers, health plans and policy-makers. The items of the tool may also be used in defining family-centered care for policies, contracts and quality standards and can be used to compare a family-centered approach with other care models. The Tools are intended to assess care for all children and youth and also has some questions that are specific to the needs of children and youth with special health care needs and their families.
Families, both individually and within family support and advocacy organizations, can use this tool to increase awareness and knowledge of the specifics of family-centered care to more effectively: Assess the quality of the care that they and their children receive; Share knowledge about family-centered care with other families, with providers, with health plans and with policy makers to create a shared vision for improving the health care system; Advocate for changes within health care settings, health plans and public agencies to more effectively support families and their children in the process of receiving care.
Health care settings can use this structured tool in quality improvement activities and to support development of the first key component of a medical home as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics—“provision of family-centered care through developing a trusting partnership with families, respecting their diversity, and recognizing that they are the constant in a child’s life” (AAP, 2002). This tool can be used to increase family satisfaction with the care setting and to increase its standing in the community.
The cd contains all three documents described above.