The purpose of this paper is to explore perceptions of family-to-family (F2F) information centres by health care providers serving Hispanic and African American families of children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN) and how that information can be used to enhance effective collaboration to address disparities in access to services.
In this second phase of a formative, qualitative multi-phase, collaborative study by a university centre and three F2Fs to develop strategies to increase the use of their centres by Hispanic and African American populations, the authors report the results of key informant interviews with healthcare providers serving the African American and Hispanic families who participated in focus groups at the three centres.
Healthcare providers reported that F2Fs play a unique role in providing families support and skills to advocate within systems. However, barriers to healthcare providers recommending F2Fs to families include a lack of knowledge about the specific services provided, the need for face-to-face contact to feel comfortable making a referral and a lack of a formalised referral and feedback process that is in line with their experiences in the medical services system.
F2Fs can increase use of their centres by African American and Hispanic families through provider referrals by: promoting specific services and supports they offer families, rather than describing their programmes; promoting how they can help providers with the care coordination functions that are time consuming; offering providers training opportunities; and developing processes for referrals that include feedback to providers.
There are no studies that currently address strengthening the collaboration between medical homes and F2F centres to improve care coordination, access to information and receiving needed services for Hispanic and African American CSHCN and their families. Understanding how healthcare providers serving Hispanic and African American CSHCN perceive F2Fs and currently work with them will enhance this collaboration.
Preparation of this paper and research reported was supported by research grant R40MC17176 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services. The funding agency was not involved in the planning or implementation of the research. The authors would like to thank the partner family to family organisations: Parents’ Place of Maryland; Parents Reaching Out of New Mexico and Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center of North Carolina.
Bronheim, S.M., Can, E. and Anthony, B.J. (2015), "Improving care coordination for African American and Hispanic children with special healthcare needs", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 45-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-04-2014-0023Download as .RIS
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