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Consumer participation in public health programs has the potential to improve services and promote a more accessible, accountable and appropriate system. However, families of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) in California have not been consistently involved in policy and programmatic planning and decision-making with the government entities upon which they depend for services and supports.

Many opportunities are available to improve family engagement in the California Children’s Services (CCS) program, including the newest change to the program, the Whole-Child Model, under which children will receive CCS medical services through Medi-Cal managed care plans.

This brief analyzes a survey of current family engagement practices in the first 21 counties that will switch to the Whole-Child Model, and offers recommendations for bolstering family engagement. 

Related: It Takes A Family: An Analysis of Family Participation in Policymaking for Public Programs Serving Children with Special Health Care Needs in California

Related: Engaging Families in Improving the Health Care System for Children with Special Health Care Needs