By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs has a long history of collaborating with families and consumers to ensure programs that support them at the state and federal level, consider their needs in the planning and delivery of programs and services, employ or train their staff to be culturally and linguistically competent, and measure outcomes that are meaningful. Through the AMCHP Family & Youth Leadership Committee, training for families that work with state Title V programs has developed and grown, enriching state programs along the way and building a cadre of committed advocates for Title V programs and funding. The collaboration with Family Voices has also strengthened state programs and fostered systems improvements. The benefits of including families and consumers in working with Title V programs are significant. States report that their programs are stronger and more relevant for families and consumers. Funding streams over time have become more directed to support the needs of families/consumers and allow for creativity and flexibility at the state level to respond to the unique needs. Input from families and consumers have helped states respond more quickly to needed systems changes, which have improved satisfaction and outcomes over time.
This issue highlights several state success stories where Family Delegates are included on their team and examples of concrete family involvement in states. Read about what is happening with the Family 2 Family Health Information Centers across the United States and what AMCHP is doing to better prepare current and future advocates.