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

 Family Engagement Challenges: Cultural Competence and Broader Outreach

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Session: Breakout Session, Oct. 18
Discussion Title: Family Engagement
Facilitated by: Various.

When family leaders and other Title V staff gathered to discuss ways to continue involving families in Title V programs, much of the conversation turned to cultural competence.

"The onus shouldn't just be on the provider," said Michelle Jarvis, specialist for family engagement and leadership development at AMCHP. "Cultural competence training is best practice for all of us, everyone, to be thinking about."

Cate Wilcox, Title V director of Oregon, brought up Region X's upcoming "cultural humility" training, which emphasizes creating spaces where people feel safe being vulnerable or having productive conflict.

Rachel Jew, Title V and CHSCN Director, pointed out Texas' diverse population. Several areas have majority-Hispanic populations, and there are three counties where the majority of residents are African American. There are multiple areas where 73 to 90 percent of people speak languages other than English. The median income is lower than the national median, and the border cities have the highest poverty rates in all of the U.S.

This means that to best serve its residents, the state Title V office has shifted its focus from statewide programs toward regional ones that can better meet the particular needs of the residents in their areas.  For example, resources are frequently translated into Spanish and Vietnamese, and contractors take cultural competence and diversity sensitivity classes. The office often uses Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Networks (CoIINs) and Communities of Practices (CoPs) to engage families on their own time and at their own pace.

As for overall outreach, an attendee from Kansas asked about more widely engaging families across maternal and child health. The state's maternal and child health council is composed of  families with children with special health care needs;it has been a struggle to find families beyond CYSHCN to serve on the council.

An attendee from Oregon sympathized and suggested using the managed care system's community advisory committee, half of which must be composed of Medicaid enrollees, as an opportunity to engage with families.

One participant summed up the overall need for engagement: "I appreciate that there's an effort to engage families, especially CYSHCN. It's really critical to hear what families are needing."