Building Partnership Skills


What is the Building Partnership Skills Initiative?

In order for health systems and policy to best support children/youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families, families of CYSHCN–especially those representing the diversity of the population–must be engaged in the decision making.

The National Center for Family Professional Partnerships’ Building Partnership Skills initiative aims to develop diverse family leadership across the country to participate at the systems level, while also supporting systems-level group leaders to effectively engage diverse family leaders.


Preparing and supporting diverse families of CYSHCN to effectively participate at the systems-level

Serving on Groups Train-the-Trainer Workshop

This full day, in-person workshop is being offered regionally across the country.  It is specifically targeted to family-led organizations who build leadership of families. This interactive Train-the-Trainer session will provide skills to train families who currently serve or want to serve on a decision-making group. Participants will learn about group processes, useful tools for groups, understanding data, and skills to maximize participation of diverse family leaders in systems-level groups.

What Participants are Saying

100% of Serving on Groups Train-the-Trainer participants agreed the training would be helpful in their work, and that they would recommend the training to a co-worker or colleague.
96% felt that the training provided them with the knowledge, skills, and tools to help enhance diverse parent participation on systems-level groups.



Preparing and Supporting Leaders of Systems-Level Decision Making Groups to Effectively Engage Diverse Families

Leading by Convening 

This full day, in-person workshop is being offered regionally across the country, in combination with the Serving on Groups Train-the-Trainer.  Serving on Groups prepares the families, while this workshop is particularly targeted to leaders of groups, such as Title V directors or their designees who run advisory groups, work groups, etc.  The interactive workshop is designed to improve skills in: engaging all team members, including diverse parents, on key issues; building support for shared work; addressing the adaptive, or relationship-based, aspects of change; and achieving improvement goals! Participants in this hands-on workshop are provided with tools that have been proven effective through use “on the ground” with diverse stakeholders including family leaders.

What Participants Are Saying

  • 100% of state agencies and family organizations agreed that the training would be helpful to their work.
  • 96% would recommend the training to a colleague.
  • 95% of participants indicated that they understood the adaptive or human elements of interaction in stakeholder groups.
  • 94% of participating state agencies indicated that they intended to make changes in their current practices to more closely match Leading by Convening.
  • 100% of the family organizations felt the information would be useful to their partner state agencies; 88.5% planned to share information with those agencies, and 71.5% felt confident in their ability to help partner state agencies change their practices based on Leading by Convening.

Working Together: Facilitating the Collaboration of Family Leaders and State Agencies

Collaborative Action Team Process

In 2017 and 2018, NCFPP is facilitating two Collaborative Action Team Process cohorts.  Cohorts are made up of 4-5 state teams consisting of a family organization that has taken the Serving on Groups Train-the-Trainer workshop, and a state agency that has taken the Leading by Convening workshop.
The Collaborative Action Team Process facilitates shared leadership and action planning focused on recruiting, developing, engaging and supporting diverse family leaders on state and local decision-making and advisory stakeholder groups focused on children and youth with special healthcare needs at the systems level.
State teams participate in a virtual web-based training series, have ongoing individualized coaching and consultation, and participate in web-based “community of practice” meetings in which state teams share lessons learned, discuss barriers and strategies to address them, and provide peer-to-peer support.


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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.

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