Family Scholars Program

 2010 Family Scholars Program

By Grace Williams

Senior Program Manager, Children With Special Health Care Needs and Family Involvement

The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), with support of HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, awarded 12 scholarships to family leaders to be part of the 2010 Family Scholar Program (FSP) and the Annual Conference. The 12 scholars and three mentors were selected by the Family and Youth Leadership Committee (FYLC) from a large number of highly qualified applicants from several states nominated by their Title V directors. The FYLC members are family leaders, who are past scholars and mentors, family consultants with Title V, a Title V Director, representatives from MCHB, and Family Voices (FV). FV is a national resource center on health care issues for families of children and youth with special health care needs/disabilities and the technical assistance provider to the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2F-HIC). The scholars are from Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin and the mentors are from Maine, Minnesota and Washington. The FSP has been a very popular program among participants, Title V programs, Family Voices and F2F-HIC to strengthen family involvement and family leadership at national, state and local levels.


The 2010 FSP has been revised this year to consist of a 12 month curriculum from January to December 2010, centered on seven of the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Competencies (MCHLC), which were adopted by the AMCHP Board as a framework to use in training and programmatic activities. The FYLC members reviewed the MCHLC, and an associated self assessment, and selected the following seven competencies to provide a framework for family leadership development for AMCHP. The focus of the year-long program will be, in order of preference, 1) Communication, 2) Cultural competency, 3) Family Centered Care 4) Working with communities and systems, 5) Policy and advocacy, 6) MCH knowledge base, and 7) Critical thinking. The curriculum will include monthly webinars, conference calls, required readings, an Individual Development Plan, networking, and a mentoring relationship. Through their participation Family Scholars and Mentors will continue to develop as family leaders as they gain a greater understanding of Title V and how it works in their state or territory; increase their involvement in Title V in an advisory, voluntary or staff capacity; expand their professional network; and increase their understanding of current and emerging issues impacting women, children, families and children and youth with special health care needs. 

The scholars and mentors will participate in the 2010 Annual Conference and attend sessions focusing on Family related issues, events, AMCHP committee meetings and network with state Title V staff, other families and parent professionals. They will also make appointments to meet with their legislators in Capitol Hill to educate, share their stories and advocate on behalf of Title V programs in their states.


AMCHP and the Family Youth Leadership Committee are excited about the revised Family Scholar Program to promote family leadership in 2010 and will continue to develop meaningful involvement and leadership opportunities for families.