Family Centered Services/Family Engagement
The Bureau for Family Centered Services has a strong commitment to family partnership and the intentional practice of working with families for the ultimate goal of positive outcomes in all areas through the life course.
Family engagement, as defined by Maternal and Child Health Bureau, reflects a belief in the value of family leadership at all levels- individual, community and policy. When families feel supported, are listened to and are engaged in the systems of care for their children and youth with special health care needs, there are better outcomes for everyone. Read below to learn about BFCS and family engagement.
Partners in Health Family Councils
Each BFCS contract agency that provides family support to young adults and families with children who have chronic health conditions is charged with creating and facilitating a family council that acts in an advisory capacity to the agency. The Family Council is made of young adults and family members who receive family support services. They meet to work collaboratively with the agency to identify young adults and families with children with chronic health conditions in their region, their needs, resources that are available, and community agencies that can help. Together, they develop strategies to address priorities.
A parent-focused State council committed to being a voice for families of children with chronic health conditions. The Council for Youth with Chronic Conditions (CYCC) educates and informs policy-makers and stakeholders of the unique challenges and opportunities to expand access to affordable; quality health care; foster supportive work environments; support community based services and celebrate the resiliency of children and their families.
Each local Area Agency has established a Regional Family Support Council consisting of members who are or who have a family member receiving services. The Family Support Council provides advice and oversight to the area agency in the development of family support plans. Each area agency also has a family support coordinator to assist families to acquire supports and services.
The NH State Family Support Council
The council consists of designated representatives from each of the ten Area Agency regional family councils. It meets every other month and is a forum for exchanging, sharing, and distributing information to each regional council; an avenue for arbitration and mediation of conflict resolution between area agencies and regional councils; and provides information and feedback on issues and concerns of regional councils to the Division of Long Term Supports & Services and its Bureau of Developmental Services and BFCS.
For more than 25 years, NH Family Voices has been funded in part by the Bureau for Family Centered Services to provide Family to Family Health Information Services to support families and caregivers of children with special health care needs. NH Family Voices is comprised of parents with children with special health care needs who have lived experience and specialty training to help other families navigate the maze of services in New Hampshire. They have a free Lending Library for residents of NH with over 3000 titles to help children, young adults, parents and caregivers understand their own or their child’s special health care need. Co-located within BFCS, NH Family Voices promotes family voice as primary consideration for planning and decision making.