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The Learning Collaborative (LC) is a part of the Family Engagement and Leadership in Systems of Care (FELSC) grant. Our partners at National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ), an expert on quality improvement initiatives, are co-leading this initiative with Family Voices each year of the five-year grant. The first cohort selected will be from September 2023 through May 2024.

Purpose of the Learning Collaborative

The Learning Collaborative (LC) will help to define youth and family engagement, identify what effective engagement looks like, explore the barriers to effective engagement, and begin to identify ways to overcome these barriers. Teams will engage in critical thinking exercises in a collaborative environment and conduct activities that address what we have learned about youth and family engagement.

The Learning Collaborative will also help make sure our efforts prioritize equity, access, and impact to improve the health and well-being of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).

Learning Collaborative Teams

Information about the Learning Collaborative will be shared broadly with Title V, other Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programs, providers, education and mental health systems, and a wide range of family organizations. Applicants will create their own teams.

Each of the five multidisciplinary teams selected must establish a co-leadership partnership that includes:

  1. A family-led organization such as an F2F
  2. At least two families/caregivers of CYSHCN
  3. At least one youth/young adult with SHCN

Each team must also include additional partners within their state/territory, which may include:

  • Clinicians and practices
  • Schools
  • Early childhood systems
  • Mental/behavioral health systems
  • Payors
  • Community-based organizations
  • Workforce development initiatives
  • Others with a broad influence on the lives and health of children and families

How the Teams Will Participate

Teams will engage in critical thinking exercises in a collaborative environment to evaluate and measure innovations and conduct activities that address findings from an environmental scan conducted by Family Voices. Each team will explore the barriers to equitable family engagement and collaboration and begin to overcome them by working together to identify effective next steps. 

Learning Community teams will play a critical role in helping to establish best practice standards for equitable family and youth engagement by assessing what already exists and conducting quality improvement activities to address gaps.  

Teams will:

  • Gain expertise and capability in building capacity for quality improvement 
  • Learn from colleagues in different states 
  • Make an impact on advancing equitable family engagement systems prioritizing well-being and optimal health for children and youth with special healthcare needs in their communities and states.   

Team Expectations

  • Participate in one monthly Action Period call (all core members)
  • Participate in one monthly TA (Technical Assistance) call to ask questions and receive support (QI team lead)
  • Test change ideas in between calls
  • Submit monthly progress reports, including monthly measures, summary of changes tested, successes and challenges


Each accepted team will receive a stipend of $4,500, of which all family and youth partners should receive a portion.

How to Apply

Interested teams should apply by August 30, 2023 (extended deadline) by completing the online application. The Learning Collaborative will begin September 20th.

For More Information

Contact Melanie Lindsay, FELSC Project Coordinator, at with questions.

Download the Printable Learning Collaborative Flyer

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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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