The Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal Child Health Bureau has awarded Family Voices Colorado grant funding through May 31, 2022 to continue operating the Colorado Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F HIC). The purpose of this program is to provide information, education, technical assistance, and peer support to families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and the professionals who serve them.
In order to help address the challenges for families in accessing care, the F2F HICs Program was developed to fill the gaps in information and support for families of CYSHCN and the providers who care for them. Originally funded through a Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) pilot program in 2005, and currently authorized and funded under Section 501(c)(1)(a) of the Social Security Act, the network of F2F HICs is a cornerstone of ongoing family engagement efforts. These centers are staffed by family members who have first-hand experience using health care services and programs for CYSHCN. This experience is used to provide support, patient-centered information, resources, and training to families and professionals around health issues faced by CYSHCN. Since the program’s inception in 2005, the network has grown from 29 to a total of 51 funded F2F HICs (one in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia), and the centers have more than quadrupled the number of families served. Data collected from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016 revealed that F2F HICs provided outreach and information to 995,246 families and 353,687 professionals and served a total of 169,241 families and 73,768 health professionals through individualized assistance and/or training from an F2F HIC.
The F2F HICs program fills a critical need for reliable information and support for all families with CYSHCN. Additionally, they serve as an important complement to, and resource for, other HRSA-funded programs that support direct health care service delivery or system infrastructure, such as Title V, and other programs that serve families with condition-specific health care needs.