Involving Family Advisory Councils in decisions that impact pediatric healthcare demonstrates hospitals’ commitment to child- and family-centered care. Yet, reliance on advisors as the sole source of family input has several limitations: infrequent meetings impedes the council’s capacity to address emerging concerns in a timely manner; feedback obtained from a small number of highly-engaged family members may not represent the perspectives of “typical” patients and families; advisors provide feedback in a reactive manner and are generally not equitably involved in problem identification or the initial development of solutions. In recognition of the need to strengthen and advance family partnerships, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia made significant structural and operational changes to advance and expand the family centered care model. The Family Partners Program, a component of the broader family centered care portfolio, is a centralized institution-wide resource that enables practitioners, researchers, and healthcare leaders to collaborate with trained family representatives. This paper describes the Family Partner Program infrastructure; approaches to recruiting, onboarding, training, and mentoring parents and caregivers; and the many ways that Family Partners promote the core principles of child- and family-centeredness in clinical care, quality improve, and research contexts.

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