2017 Family Leadership Conference
Weaving a Tapestry of Strength through Diversity
November 15-17, 2017  |  Washington, D.C.
Celebrating 25 Years of keeping families at the center of children’s health care

The Family Voices 25th Anniversary conference event brought together family leaders and family organizations from every state, D.C., and some of the U.S. territories to strengthen the collective impact on systems serving children and youth with special health care needs.  This gathering, occurring every 1-2 years, is an important opportunity for family organizations to connect, share, and learn effective strategies and best practices from each other.  View the full conference program.  


189 participants representing:

50 states, D.C., and two U.S. territories

♦  Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2Fs), Family Voices State Affiliate Organizations (SAOs), and other family organizations

♦  State and federal Maternal and Child Health (MCH) staff

♦  National partners such as Little Lobbyists, Genetic Alliance, Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD), National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC), AMCHP, Regional Genetic Networks, Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, Lucile Packard Foundation, American Board of Pediatrics, and Sputnik Moment

30% from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds


♦ Ensuring Access to Invisible Populations: A Guide to Successful Outreach

♦ Mental Health: Creating Supports When the System is Lacking

♦ Executive Directors: Got Staff? Now What?

♦ Partner Networking Round Tables

♦ Organizational Development for Diversity Initiatives

♦ Stories of Transition

♦ Family Leaders and Medicaid: Working Together

♦ Family Leadership in the Digital Age: Let’s Do It!

♦ Diverse Family Leaders in Research

♦ Supported Decision-Making: From Theory to Practice

♦ Policy Panel: What Lies Ahead and the Power of the Grassroots

♦ The Power of Families’ Voices in Defending

and Transforming our Health Care System

♦ Diverse and Underserved Communities and the Power of Project ECHO

♦ Intro to Logic Models

♦ Leadership from the Heart: Courage in Threatening Times

♦ The Power of Families’ Voices in Defending and Transforming our Health Care System

♦ Native American Moving On Ceremony


♦  The 2017 conference kicked off with a celebratory reception on Capitol Hill in honor of Family Voices’ 25 years of advocating for children with special health care needs.  

♦  The main conference event, also serving as the annual meeting for HRSA-funded Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F) grantees, consisted of one and a half days of inspiring keynotes, workshops, and networking.

♦  Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in two full-day workshops focused on improving engagement of diverse family leaders at the systems level of health care.


♦  An average of 95% of respondents to individual workshop evaluations rated their session as Valuable or Very Valuable

♦  An average of 98% of respondents to individual workshop evaluations Agreed or Strongly Agreed that workshop content was useful to the work of their organization

“This was a fantastic opportunity to get outside of my state to network with people across the country who are all involved in fantastic work benefiting families across the US, territories, and tribal nations.”

“The invited speakers were excellent! The overall content knowledge provided by the various presenters was an awesome learning experience.”

“I feel inspired. Going to the Capitol made a HUGE difference. Seeing where others are being persistent and have persevered encourages me to continue to do so as well.”

Thanks to our 2017 Conference Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver and Scholarship  Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors

Reception Sponsors

Scholarship Sponsor

Advertisement Sponsors

Family Voices Board of Directors
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey
Association of University Centers on Disability
Genetic Alliance
National Center for Hearing Assessment
and Management
Academy Health
Catalyst Center
Got Transition
Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care
Family Network on Disabilities
Liz Healey and family
Federation for Children with Special Needs
Oklahoma Family Network
Family Voices of Tennessee
Family Voices of California
New Hampshire Family Voices
Rhode Island Parent Information Network
Family Voices of Illinois
PATH Parent to Parent/Family Voices of Connecticut

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Our Vision

With families at the center of health care, all children and youth reach their full potential and health disparities are eliminated.

Our Mission

Family Voices is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families—including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.

In honor of