The Access Family Support Health Information Center is a collaboration between the Family Support Network™ of North Carolina, the Family Support Network™ of the Greater Triangle, and Family Resource Center South Atlantic Family to Family Health Information Center (F2F HIC). The center helps families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and disabilities to obtain support, advocacy, and information about the health care and other related systems. The definition of CYSHCN is children and youth who have or are at risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions that require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that generally required by children. The center promotes family-centered care as well as family and professional collaboration at all levels of the health care and other related systems. The HIC also has a strong commitment to promote and support the needs of families from racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse communities.
Families are provided information to assist with:
- Developing family-centered care plans
- Navigating the health care and other related systems
- Working as a team member with doctors, providers and other health care professionals
- Developing health care summaries and plans for school, home, and emergencies
- Finding public and private health insurance information
- Completing health insurance applications
- Applying to NC Division of Medical Assistance: Health Choice, Medicaid,
- Applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children
- The appeals process for insurance and government assistance programs
- Individual help by telephone and face-to-face meetings
- Family workshop training for health care advocacy, negotiation, strengthening relationships, and navigating managed care
- Collaboration with community health care professionals to provide training and information about family-centered care
- Collaboration with state and local agencies to provide family-centered systems of care for children and youth with special health care needs
- Monthly newsletters about health care issues, recent legislation, and health resources
- Links with parent-to-parent support programs
- Online resources
Why is family involvement in the health system important?
- Teamwork and collaboration among families and professionals are essential to provide quality care for an individual child or a young adult for the health system in general to run more efficiently as a whole.
- Parents, doctors, personal care attendants, and other professionals act as part of a team by contributing their own unique expertise and knowledge.
- Team members work together as colleagues. Recommendations from each team member are equally valued.
- While professionals can provide support and expertise, families have the ultimate responsibility of coordinating all the roles of a team, acting as caregivers, advocates, and decision makers. The expertise that families bring to systems of care is as vital as that of other team members.
- Each family has its own values, and family members are best able to understand the needs of their child. Contributions from other team members help a family make informed decisions that are in the best interest of their child.
For more information about the Health Information Center, please contact Shea Cleveland at (919) 834-9300 ext. 103 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.