Definition of Family-Centered Care
Family-centered care assures the health and well-being of children and their families through a respectful family-professional partnership. It honors the strengths, cultures, traditions and expertise that everyone brings to this relationship. Family-Centered Care is the standard of practice which results in high quality services.
Principles of Family-Centered Care for Children
The foundation of family-centered care is the partnership between families and professionals. Key to this partnership are the following principles:
- Families and professionals work together in the best interest of the child and the family. As the child grows, s/he assumes a partnership role.
- Everyone respects the skills and expertise brought to the relationship.
- Trust is acknowledged as fundamental.
- Communication and information sharing are open and objective.
- Participants make decisions together.
- Everyone is willing to negotiate.
Based on this partnership, family-centered care:
- Acknowledges the family as the constant in a child’s life.
- Builds on family strengths.
- Supports the child in learning about and participating in his/her care and decision-making.
- Honors cultural diversity and family traditions.
- Recognizes the importance of community-based services.
- Promotes an individual and developmental approach.
- Encourages family-to-family and peer support.
- Supports the child as he/she transition to adulthood.
- Develops policies, practices, and systems that are family-friendly and family-centered in all settings.
- Celebrates successes.
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