AMCHP 2006 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
EARLY CHILDHOOD: BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR LIFELONG HEALTH
March 4-8, 2006
RUTH WALDEN: Before I do that I’d like to give you a commercial announcement. And the first one is that the Family Leadership Caucus will be meeting this afternoon at one o’clock and all families are invited to attend that meeting and to join us.
The second part of the commercial announcement is immediately following this session at about 11:30, the National Center for Finance would like to interview parents of Children with Special Health Care Needs on hardships that you experience with having to raise a Child with Special Health Care Needs. So if you are interested in being a part of that, if you would just remain in this room after we break up from the small groups that would really be appreciated.
Okay, now we can move on to how parents are involved. I saw a lot of hands shoot up before for parents who have been involved with the Needs Assessment. Can I see that again, please? We have quite a few parents who were involved with their Needs Assessment and some of you, this will be a new way to do things and we’ll be discussing how that’s going to happen in small groups and get some innovative ideas.
But in the mean time I’d like to share with you how we do things in New York a little bit and how things were done in the Block Grant that I reviewed this past year and how they did it in their Needs Assessment in a small territory. So things are very different obviously from New York to a small territory in how things can be done. In New York we do it through focus groups, through our Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Advisory Committee and testimony from families to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Advisory Council.
In the focus groups we tend to reach all audiences across the spectrum of Maternal and Child Health. We provide translation services if they are necessary and we recruit from within the community. That way we can reach out and engage families from all walks of like including the migrant health workers and things like that so that we are reaching and being able to hear how their access to services go.
In the territory that I reviewed the Block Grant for they have second language, they included families from all over the island, they engaged with a number of partners like AAP. They brought in their LEND Program and things like that and they were able to engage families doing a number of different things in a number of different areas. And again they reached across their Maternal and Child Health population and didn’t just include families with Children with Special Health Care Needs but went across the broad spectrum of maternal and child health, including women’s health, including Children with Special Health Care Needs, including healthy children and including women of child bearing age, including women up into their forties.
So they reached out and brought in over forty groups and this is in a territory that’s small, they brought in forty groups. And they were able to reach out to those groups and able to learn. And their needs assessment was formulated as a result of that and the same thing has happened throughout the country, states, as we heard from Washington and from Georgia this morning, do things a little bit differently but they reach out and they engage families and allow families to come forward. And there are some innovative ways to do that.
If you haven’t been involved with your Block Grant, one of the things that we would suggest that you do is get in touch with their maternal and child health coordinator and see how you can respond. Can you go and testify at public hearings like we do with our Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Advisory Council. Michelle Kravitz, Michelle will you stand up. Michelle Kravitz writes our Block Grant for New York State and she is sure to publish throughout the state when testimony can be given and we have several different Block Grant Advisory Council Sites where they meet so that we can reach across the state over the years in different sites, always in New York City, obviously, where the largest percentage of our population is and with translation services if necessary.
We pay a stipend to families who participate in focus groups and childcare and travel. We did one special one this year for our family champions that we were training and they received intensive training in the Block Grant, in the Needs Assessment and things like that. And then they came and participated in a focus group. And the information that we gathered from this is published and internally circulated and will eventually be disseminated to the public as well. So we make sure we take that data back and it informs programs and it informs policy as we do things.
So in your state if you are not doing this, let’s talk about ways that you can do it and if you’ve done something very innovative, please share that during these small groups that we are working on and you’ll have Betsy explaining to you how the small groups are going to work. But first I’d like to see if there are any questions that you have regarding how things have been done. Okay. I think we are ready to break into our small groups then.