Families as Faculty (FAF) is a program that brings together families of children with disabilities and future health care professionals in a structured framework for professionals to learn from families and their experiences in order to be more effective at providing the care needed.
During the FAF process, medical, nursing or occupational therapy are given the chance to be a part of a home visit with a volunteering host family from Parents Reaching Out. During this visit, the family shares their experiences, both positive and negative, in regards to the health care system and how these experiences have impacted or changed the life of their child. In this program, the families are the faculty and are the experts on their child, providing an out-of-classroom learning experience for the students. This program reveals the power of the parent/family perspective and it is presented as a crucial part of the effort to improve outcomes.
Students will learn how they, as future professionals, can work in partnership with families to improve systems, services, and outcomes for children with disabilities. In addition, the students will see the child with a disability as a member of the family unit and an individual themselves, not a disability.
Our expectation is that the students will come away from the FAF program with:
- An understanding that all children and families are different, each with unique strengths, values, beliefs, and challenges.
- A view of families as resources with whom they can partner with and learn from in order to achieve better outcomes for children.
- A consideration of their own personal beliefs, values, and attitudes about children, families, the educational and medical systems, and their capacity to create positive change.
When health care systems listen to families, outcomes for children improve. FAF starts the process at the beginning – with the students who will become the leaders in health care. Together, families and professionals can work together towards positive change.
Patient and Family-Centered Care is an approach that recognizes the value of health care staff and families working together as partners to best meet the needs of the child or patient. Excellence in health care happens when all parties work together and honor the expertise that each individual brings.
Patient and Family-Centered Care is a continual effort to be responsive to the needs and choices of each family.
THE CORE CONCEPTS OF PATIENT AND FAMILY-CENTERED CARE ARE:
- Dignity and Respect – providers must listen to and honor patient and family ideas and choices while keeping in mind patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds to improve care planning and delivery.
- Information Sharing – providers must communicate complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways they can understand. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate details so they can take part in care and decision-making.
- Involvement – providers encourage and support patients and families in care and decision-making.
- Collaboration – providers invite patients and family members to work together with health care staff to develop and evaluate policies and programs.
- Medical Home – emphasizes comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients with the goal of obtaining maximized health outcomes.