The concept of family-centered care is based on the idea that family members are actively involved as partners in the care of their children. However, some family members choose to be involved on a larger scale, by participating as Family Advisors in some of the family-centered care programs established at CHOP.
Family advisors are valued partners in our mission to advance family-centered care. Many have told us that having the opportunity to be involved in improving the care experience for future families is a valuable gift that they take with them. Roles for family advisors include:
Coffee Hour Host
Coffee Hours are held on various inpatient units throughout the Hospital. Hosts are responsible for inviting families on the unit to join the coffee hour. The event provides an opportunity for families to sit quietly and take a break, or share with others who are also experiencing their child's hospitalization.
Often committees within the hospital request that a family member join in their work process to provide the family perspective. Being a committee member involves representing the family-centered care point of view and working closely with various members of the CHOP community on a particular project, such as developing a new program, policy or process.
Focus Group Participant
A focus group differs from a committee in that they tend to meet only once. As a focus group participant, you will be asked to attend a meeting and give your feedback or suggest solutions to a particular project.
LEND Family Mentor
This role requires the family member to partner with a clinical professional who is enrolled in the Hospital's LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) program. The family member's role here is to provide a glimpse into the daily life of a child with neurodevelopmental disorders and chronic illness.
Participating as a material reviewer requires the family member to review drafts of brochures, Web sites, policies, educational materials, newsletters etc. from the patient/family perspective.
Our family faculty offer individual presentations from a personal perspective. Members speak to new employees at orientation, to various departments within the Hospital, and to professional schools, universities and other community venues.
Qualities we look for in a potential family advisor
Family advisors should possess the following:
- Experience in receiving care at one or more of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia locations
- Ability to share your story and insight in a balanced and objective way
- Ability to listen to and reflect on differing points of view
- Ability to work collaboratively
- Respect for diversity
- Enthusiasm about the vision and mission of the family-centered care initiatives at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
Diversity is also key: As we advance family-centered care, it is vital to have families with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We're also looking for families who access CHOP services from a variety of locations, including homecare, CHOP Care Network, Specialty Care Centers and the Wood Ambulatory Care Center.