Bright Futures is based on the belief that families have the primary responsibility for promoting the health and well-being of their children, whereas state and local government agencies and community organizations have the responsibility for helping families access resources that provide a safe and healthful environment in which they can live and learn, play and grow. Pediatric health care professionals, along with community organizations and government agencies, provide expert support and guidance to families in their important efforts to ensure the health and well-being of children, the nation's future. Family materials that are based on the Bright Futures family-centered approach provide information and resources that families can use to be effective partners with their health care providers and others.
Many state Medicaid agencies have adopted the Bright Futures/AAP Periodicity Schedule as a standard for pediatric preventive services through state Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSTD) programs, thus ensuring that children and adolescents obtaining care through government agencies receive the same covered preventive services as those who participate in private health insurance plans. Meanwhile, schools, community organizations, and public–private partnerships are incorporating the family-centered, health promotion, and disease prevention approach and materials offered by Bright Futures into their own health promotion and prevention initiatives.
Many state and local health departments find that integrating Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents into health promotion and prevention programs helps them accomplish their goals of improving the health of the children in their jurisdiction, leading to better health outcomes. For example, Women, Infants, and Children programs are turning to Bright Futures: Nutrition, 3rd Edition and other Bright Futures materials (eg, handouts) to provide helpful nutrition advice to families in need.
Bright Futures Guidelines Help States Meet Title V Goals to Improve Health
The Association of Maternal & Health Programs (AMCHP) released an issue brief that illustrates how the evidence-based Bright Futures Guidelines help states meet their National Performance Measures under Title V and advance their efforts to improve the health of children and families.
Bright Futures: An Essential Resource for Advancing the Title V National Performance Measures includes background on the Bright Futures Guidelines – which provide strategies to address children's health needs from birth to 21 – and a crosswalk showing how the guidelines correlate with the National Performance Measures (NPM) for programs that serve children and families under federal Title V grants. The brief includes examples of how Title V programs in three states (Virginia, Nevada and Iowa) use Bright Futures to advance their work on the NPMs on which they selected to focus.
Because the guidelines are used by many stakeholders and those invested in children's health, they can serve as a tool for cross-sector collaboration and to strengthen partnerships. As such, states should also ensure that families, the communities, and health care professionals are included in all stages of implementation of the guidelines.
To learn more about AMCHP, click here.