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Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tools: New Strategies to Facilitate Ease and Standardization of Use

Organization: Family Voices

Primary Contact: Beth Dworetzky

Grant Amount: $250,000

Date Awarded:


Through three previous rounds of foundation funding, Family Voices has developed and implemented the Family Engagement in Systems Assessment Tool (FESAT). This tool and its accompanying resources are designed to help child-serving health care entities assess, plan, and improve family engagement in systems-level initiatives. The most recent grant demonstrated wide usage of the FESAT by national programs, indicating a growing awareness of the value of family engagement. This new grant will support implementation of strategies to facilitate and standardize use of the tool, with a focus on partnership with federal Title V programs, which are a key source of support for promoting and improving the health of mothers and children, including those with special health care needs, in all fifty states and US territories.

Related Resources

The value of incorporating families’ lived experience in systems-level activities is well understood by health care providers and policymakers. However, little detail exists in the literature about what information and supports are needed to assist families and professionals throughout the process of engaging with families. In this article, researchers present a framework for family engagement grouped into four action-oriented domains: commitment, transparency, representation, and impact. Adoption of this framework by child-serving entities will support a sustainable, equitable, and meaningful process in which families can contribute to policy development and improvement.