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Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance MeetingExpand Special Edition: Title V Technical Assistance Meeting
Title V Technical Assistance Meeting

 Engaging Families: A Challenge that Must be Met

Engaging families in Title V programs is more important than ever – which is why AMCHP just published a survey and series of case studies about family engagement in those programs.

The Title V Block Grant now requires programs to document family and consumer participation, which are key to helping to improve service quality. That's one reason AMCHP conducted a nationwide survey about family engagement policies and practices in Title V maternal and child health and children and youth with special health care needs programs, with funding from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Although almost all MCH and CYSHCN survey respondents said they seek family input, their responses also show that programs struggle with the nuts and bolts of meaningfully employing, compensating and engaging families.

The survey findings and case studies provide a snapshot of strategies to support meaningful family engagement, effective and innovative practices, and areas for improvement. Among the survey findings:

  • Title V programs embrace a broad definition of family, ranging from program participant to immediate and extended family, as well as youth/young adults.
  • Most Title V programs report some form of family participation, such as reviewing block grant applications and writing sections of block grants.
  • Most Title V programs employ family members.
  • More than three-fourths of programs report providing staff development and training about family engagement.
  • Programs use a broad range of engagement strategies, including creating a process for improving family engagement and employing a family leader on staff.
  • Most Title V programs use contracts to operationalize family engagement and leverage the expertise of family organizations.
  • The key challenges reported are recruiting representation across geographic areas or from remote areas.

The survey report, Sustaining and Diversifying Family Engagement in Title V MCH and CYSHCN Programs, is published in a series of easy-to-digest briefs that detail the results in specific areas:

  • ​Creating a Culture of Family Engagement
  • Levels of Family Engagement
  • Roles of Family Staff or Consultants
  • Family Members Employed as Staff
  • Sustaining and Diversifying Family Engagement
  • Evaluating Family Engagement

The case studies provide examples of engaging families and diverse populations in five states. See all the reports here.