Work Group Report: Family-Centered Care

27 people from diverse backgrounds, including families, gathered in a four hour break-out session, as part of the Parenthood in America Conference, to address the vital importance of families becoming more involved in health care services and systems. We agreed that families need to obtain, in a systematic way, clear information to serve as the basis for decisions affecting the health of their children. Parents of children with special needs have unique responsibilities and stresses with which to contend.

Using a resiliency focus, we need to build systems that recognize that the vast majority of parents want to have healthy families, to know their options, and to be knowledgeable in an increasingly complex health care system.

Purpose of Work Group:
To foster awareness of family-centered care and to expand networking of people and agencies involved in family-centered care in the Midwest and the Nation.
Definition of Family-Centered Care:
"Family-centered care is an approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care providers, patients and families. It can transform the health care system as we I know it in the United States today. It is the way to provide quality health care."

The group addressed the question, "How can health care institutions and organizations include families in policy development, program planning, service delivery and evaluation?" The response was: to include parents at all phases of planning, decision making, implementation, and evaluation. The following are suggestions to make it possible:

The following are suggestions that can be incorporated into current systems:

How to work with managed care organizations in an empowering and family-centered way?

What do we do next, on a national level?

Mary Musk
3771 South 56th Street
Greenfield, WI 53220
414 449 4777 or 414 541 9178
fax: 414 449 4774

Richard Aronson
Bureau of Public Health
1 West Wilson Street, PO Box 109
Madison, WI 53701-0309
608 266 5818 fax 608 267 3824

Copyright © 1998 Mary Musk and Richard Aronson.

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