Emerging Practice

Family Navigator Network

State/Jurisdiction: Iowa
Setting: Community
Population: CYSHCN Families & Caregivers
Topic Area: Safe and Connected Communities Family & Youth Engagement
NPMs: NPM 11: Medical Home

The Iowa Family Navigator Network (FNN) builds on the principles of Patient-and Family-Centered Care, an approach to health care that is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among health care professionals, patients, and families. As members of health care teams, Family Navigators demonstrate respect for family perspectives and preferences for care, share information in a way that invites family participation in decision making, create partnerships with families and members of their care team, and collaborate at all levels: with individual families, in their communities and at systems levels, including the CHSC leadership team. Family Navigators provide skill building and information to empower Iowa families of CYSHCN as they advocate for their children in medical, education and social service settings. As they partner with families, Family Navigators remind families that they and their concerns are central to the System of Care. Typically located in Regional Centers around the state, Family Navigators support family access to gap-filling clinical services, care coordination, family-to-family support, and systems building activities. Employing families as members of care teams emphasizes the importance of family-professional partnerships and enhances the family experience of receiving care in a well-functioning system. CHSC activities are not designed to replace the activities of primary care providers and the FNN is a supplementary resource in the delivery of a medical home approach to care that is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective.

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Implementation Handout

Child Health Specialty Clinics
Sharon Rettinger
(319) 283-4135
Practice Website