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13 Key Elements of Family-Centered Services

  1. Recognizes that the family is the constant in the child's life.
  2. Facilitates true parent/professional collaboration, and not just coordination of services.
  3. Honors the racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and socioeconomic diversity of families.
  4. Recognizes family strengths and differing ways of coping.
  5. Shares unbiased information with parents on a continual basis for the purpose of supporting their need and ability to make decisions with adequate information.
  6. Understands the developmental needs of children and families and incorporates these into the service systems offered.
  7. Provides continuous services to families until such time that the child/family is no longer eligible for services or families indicate they no longer want or need the support provided.
  8. Offers high-quality professional services in the form of assessment, treatment and recommendations.
  9. Provides comprehensive, interagency services that include emotional and financial support for the family as well as educational, therapeutic and medical support for the child.
  10. Encourages family-to-family support and networking.
  11. Respects the family's right to refuse or postpone services offered/recommended.
  12. Designs services that are responsive to family-identified priorities and needs.
  13. Designs accessible services that are flexibly scheduled in natural environments for optimal family participation and benefit to the child.

Adapted from the film Family-Centered Care (1989), Association for the Care of Children's Health , Washington, DC.

4 Myths & Misconceptions About Family-Centered Services - Common misunderstandings regarding family-centered services.

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