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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Maternal and Child Health

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Family/Professional Partnerships Program: Family-to-Family Health Information Centers

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $4.9 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support Family-to-Family Health Information Centers. Read the news release here.

National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships

National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships provides technical assistance to community leaders, partners with key stakeholders and documents the support  that Family-to-Family Health Information Centers provide to families and professionals in every State. 

Learn more about this National Center here.

Family-to-Family Health Information Centers

The Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F HIC) program funds grants to assure that families of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) are able to participate in decision-making at all levels and be satisfied with the services they receive.

These statewide, family-staffed centers

  • assist families of CSHCN to make informed choices about health care in order to promote good treatment decisions, cost effectiveness and improved health outcomes
  • provide information regarding the health care needs of and resources available for CSHCN
  • identify successful health delivery models for CSHCN
  • develop with representatives of health care providers, managed care organizations, health care purchasers, and appropriate State agencies, a model for collaboration between families of CSHCN and health professionals
  • provide training and guidance regarding the care of CSHCN
  • conduct outreach activities to families of CSHCN, health professionals, schools and other appropriate entities
  • are staffed by families who have children with special health care needs and expertise in Federal and State public and private health care systems and by health professionals.

How Family-to-Family Health Information Centers Help

F2F HICs are uniquely able to help families with CSHCN because they are staffed by family members who have firsthand experience navigating the maze of health care services and programs for CSHCN.  

F2F HIC staff understand the issues families face and help families make informed decisions. Each F2F HIC is unique, reflecting the needs and character of the community and State that it serves. Some F2F HICs are independent nonprofits; others are part of collaborative nonprofit organizations or agencies. All F2F HICs have a strong commitment to and expertise about CSHCN. 

All F2F HICs provide:

  • Assistance to families and professionals in navigating health care systems;
  • Information, education, training, support and referral services;
  • Outreach to underserved / underrepresented populations, including Tribal groups;
  • Guidance on health programs and policy; and
  • Collaboration with other F2F HICs, family groups, and professionals in efforts to improve services for CSHCN.

Of the families served by the F2F HICs between June 2010 and May 2011

  • 86% of surveyed families report that F2Fs helped them partner in decision-making with their child’s providers
  • 93% of surveyed families report that F2Fs helped them find or navigate community services.
  • 93% of surveyed families report that F2Fs helped them to be more confident in getting health care services for their child

Family-to-Family Health Information Centers charts

A clinician with a mother and infant patient

Making a Difference

"You have given me hope and I feel like I can deal with this now, one day at a time. You have helped me so much. I can’t describe what a difference you have made for both me and my mother.

We have now talked about my child’s disability and have accepted that my daughter does have special needs. We didn’t talk about it before. Thank you for talking with my mother and talking to me. 

We are ready now to start learning more about what we can do to help my daughter. I felt so isolated until I talked to you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Arizona Family-to-Family Health Information Center

"A family contacted us who had two children with severe disabilities covered by private health insurance and Medicaid.

The private health insurance company began requiring their enrollees to use an out-of-state mail order pharmacy.

Because the out-of-state pharmacy was not a Louisiana Medicaid provider, the family was cut off of using their Louisiana Medicaid as a secondary insurer, resulting in $500 per month in additional costs. 

We worked with the Louisiana Medicaid Director so that this family could submit the balance of the costs and receive their benefits."

Louisiana Family-to-Family Health Information Center