The Iowa F2F HIC builds partnerships with families of CYSHCN and the organizations serving them to offer support, training, education and advocacy readiness and collaboration. Sustainability efforts, multi-tierd training provision including one-on-one support, online training, and a statewide conference as well as consistent evaluation of the project summarize the goals. Methods include community and family collaboration through a statewide coalition that advises the project and plan-do-study-act evaluation cycles.
1. Transition FGC coordination and data reporting to ASK.
2. Facilitate FGC meetings.
3. Execute a culturally competent development and communication plan.
4. Maintain English and Spanish brochures and website.
5. Explore sustainable funding options.
6. Disseminate information via web, listserv, and newsletters.
7. Execute monthly trainings on prioritized health topics and existing statewide services and databases.
8. Provide and refer as needed for individual assistance including for Spanish speaking families.
9. Recruit and outreach to members of underserved and culturally diverse populations.
10. Provide a State Conference.
11. Evaluate the project.
Together We Can Conference
Our Family-to-Family Iowa project is made up of over thirty organizations that not only support families, but work together to improve one another’s outreach and support strategies. Due to budget cuts, families and family organizations lost the opportunity to participate in a statewide family conference where they had networked and supported one another for a number of years. The only conferences left targeted professionals. We blended funding from several sources to meet the need for a conference for families that would share critical information and resources, and provide opportunities for networking. The 2013 conference had 182 participants, representing families from all metropolitan areas of Iowa and many rural regions. Evaluations indicated an average growth of knowledge of 2.5 points on a 5 point Likert scale for each session (15 sessions) and all Keynotes (3 Keynotes). 98% of surveyed participants rated the timeliness, high quality, and usefulness of conference materials as a 4 or 5 on a 5 point scale (5 being the highest). FEEDBACK:
Many of the family participants in the conference indicated they would use the resources to help other families once back home, and many reported later in the year that they had done so via: creating job opportunities, starting new support groups in local areas, and connecting to solve issues across the state via social media. “What a great conference. Do it again it! Families need you!”
“I got so much out of this conference. So many great people that really cared about families and support us”
“This was really excellent and I am so glad I got to attend. Well organized and very useful information!”