Information and referral delivered in-person and over the phone by peer family members
Family to Family Health Information Centers (F2FHIC) offer assistance and training to families of children (or youth) with special health care needs (CYSHCN) or those with disabilities. Services that are offered through these centers include a hands-on assistant for families to apply for public programs, connect them with another parent who is in a similar situation, connect them with support groups, give advice and guidance on how to advocate with their child, and provide training in such areas as Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, leadership development, and more. F2F HICs are uniquely qualified to help families because they are staffed by family members who have first-hand experience navigating the maze of health care services and programs for CYSHCN. F2F HIC staff understand the issues that families face and help families make informed decisions.
All F2F HICs provide:
- Assistance to families and professionals in navigating health care systems;
- Information, education, training, support and referral services;
- Outreach to underserved / underrepresented populations;
- Guidance on health programs and policy;
- Collaboration with other F2F HICs, family groups, and professionals to improve services for CYSHCN; and
- Evaluation and outcome assessment
Caregivers of children and youth with disabilities or special health care needs.
The family to family health information centers are funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). There are 52 family to family health information centers across the nation. Family Voices is the national organization that represent these centers.
To promote optimal health for children (and youth) with special health care needs and disabilities and facilitate their access to an effective health delivery system by meeting the health information and support needs of families and the professionals who serve them.
Evidence of Outcomes
Family to Family Health Information Centers exist across the US and Family Voices provides connection across states.
While no formal research on the program has been conducted, families who have received services and supports report positive outcomes. According data collected by Family Voices, between June 2009 and May 2010 approximately 1.5 million individuals received services (69% were family members while 31% were professionals). Services provided included: assistance, training, and broad outreach. The type of information that was requested by individuals (almost equal proportions) included transition, navigation system, screening, financing, medical home, and parenting. Approximately 81% of families reported that they are better able to partner with provider, 90% were better able to navigate community services, and 86% felt more confident in getting needed services.
Family Voices website: http://www.familyvoices.org/