Family Engagement

Family engagement is a genuine partnership between professionals and family leaders who represent many different communities and who work together to develop and implement better policies and practices. A family-centered approach to health care includes working with families as equal partners in their child’s care.

The Medical Home Initiative works closely with the family-led organizations of Family Voices, Parent to Parent and other partners to build the capacity of family members to be equal partners in their child’s care and with health care teams. Family engagement and family-centered care improve outcomes for patients and families, increases family and clinician satisfaction, decreases health care costs, and improves effective use of health care resources.

Family engagement has many meanings. In a clinic or hospital, family members may be participating in:

  • Health care surveys or suggestion boxes
  • Focus groups or interviews
  • Development of their child’s care plan
  • Advisory boards or councils
  • Quality improvement initiative work groups

Families want to be sure that their child’s needs are met. Having both family members and health care providers work together as equal partners improves care for children with special health care needs. Family engagement is being an active and valued partner. Family perspective is valuable!

“My son’s doctor, nurse and I are a team. They listen carefully to me when I talk about him, and I try to follow their suggestions. We have different roles, but we respect each other. My son’s medical care is better because of this partnership.” – Wisconsin Parent

C.A.R.E. Medical Home Series for Families

This series of four presentations and discussions was developed to support families who have children or youth with special health care needs. The series may be offered individually or in combination, virtually or in-person. At the end of the discussions, participants will understand what a medical home is, how a medical home may benefit their child and family. The discussions are appropriate for both professionals and families.

Join us to learn strategies to coordinate and strengthen communication with your child’s health care team and other partners you work with. Families have shared that the training is a great way to connect with other families and learn about resources in their area.

To Participate in a Presentation

The five Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Health Care conduct these presentations across the state on a regular basis. Connect with your Regional Center to learn of upcoming dates or to be put on mailing list for future trainings.

Contact Us

Caring for the Whole Family | Assembling a Care Notebook | Requesting a Shared Plan of Care | Exploring Care Mapping

Caring for the Whole Family 

When you discover that your child is growing differently than other kids, you may experience a wide range of emotions as your world begins to change. Join us as we explore those emotions and the realities of raising a child with a special health care need or disability. Learn about resources and supports available for your whole family. This discussion is for families who may be new to the world of special health care needs and disabilities. (45-60 min)


Requesting a Shared Plan of Care

What is a Shared Plan of Care? A Shared Plan of Care is a summary of your child’s medical and non-medical information and may be used as a tool for communication. Learn more about the benefits of having one and how to work your provider to develop one. (20-30 min)


Assembling a Care Notebook

Care Notebooks are a way to organize your child’s medical records, resources and educational information. Join us to learn ways to assemble and organize a Care Notebook and the benefits of using it to coordinate care. (20-30 minutes)


Exploring Care Mapping

A hands-on opportunity to create a care map of your family’s strengths. A Care Map is a visual way to show all the people and services involved in caring for and supporting your child. Each family’s care map may look different; you decide how many details to include.

Wrap up the session with tying things missing in your family’s Care Map to what is available in your local area. (20-30 mins)


Clinician Resources

Family Resources

Contact Our Staff

Colleen Lane
Project Manager
Medical Home
(608) 442-4177

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Monthly news, events and resources from the Wisconsin Medical Home Initiative.

The Wisconsin Medical Home Initiative is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program and the Maternal Child Health Program located in the Division of Public Health.

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