Families178487043-72dpi.jpgBright Futures is built around family-centered care—the concept of partnership between families and health care providers that serve the best interest of the child and the family. Family-centered care encourages mutual respect for the skills and expertise that both partners bring to the table and focuses on trust, communication, and joint decision-making. Successful use of Bright Futures tools such as the Previsit Questionnaires largely depends on family participation. Parent and family organizations and parent advisors can be valuable team members that offer new perspective on the goals and processes of an implementation program.
Many states that have implemented Bright Futures have developed methods of informing families of proposed changes or additions to their children’s pediatric care. These mechanisms take advantage of the relationships among families that facilitate transmission of health information and recommendations.
By including these stakeholders as partners, states and communities can ensure that a key audience is being addressed. Families can ·        
  • Help design and/or provide feedback on proposed changes to delivery of care and materials
  • Serve as trusted peer-to-peer (family-to-family) advisors, transferring health information and recommendations
  • Help increase the demand for preventive screening as recommended by Bright Futures
  • Provide input on the types of information to be shared with the public
  • Provide data on the success of implementation through satisfaction surveys
  • Increase awareness of Bright Futures in the community
  • Participate as instructors in Bright Futures training activities
Families may also be interested in learning more about the medical home—an approach to providing comprehensive primary care that facilitates partnerships among patients, physicians, and families. For more information on the medical home, including state contacts and resources, visit the National Resource Center for Patient/Family-Centered Medical Home website. Implementation programs may find the Family Voices Family-Centered Care Self-Assessment Tool helpful. Family Voices is a nonprofit family-led organization that works to keep families at the center of children’s health care. The self-assessment tool increases awareness of the family-centered care concept in outpatient health care settings and among families and provides an organized way for staff in health care settings to assess current strengths and weaknesses, plan future efforts, and track progress. This information helps implementation programs set realistic and attainable goals and assess quality improvement. The self-assessment tool comes in two forms—one for families and one for providers.

 Partnering With Families

Illinois: The Illinois Healthy Kids EPSDT Web site provides resources to families participating in the EPSDT program and includes links to children's mental health, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Zero to Three, and Bright Futures information. The state also has a Healthy Kids mailing that promotes Women, Infants, and Children program services. Learn more

South Dakota: South Dakota produces a recipient handbook for Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition to providing a general overview of the state's Medicaid program, the handbook contains sections dedicated to baby care and well-child care. The well-child care materials include a suggested checkup schedule and an immunization schedule that make parents aware of the Bright Futures/AAP Periodicity Schedule adopted by the state.