Answering Questions About Family Engagement Through a CoIIN Lens:
Formation of the Texas Family Work Group
*NOTE: The questions used to interview Texas Family Leader Sherry Santa for this piece were based on responses to a survey of state teams regarding what questions they had about family engagement prior to the July 2018 webinar.
A. Engaging family partners
A1. How do we ensure that families represent the diversity of those who receive services in the system/ our program?
Texas has been looking at diversity expansively - investigating how to start a Spanish-speaking family workgroup
A2. What's the value of reaching out to a family-led or community based organization as opposed to engaging a single parent that we identify?
Family-led organizations have connections with so many families
A3. How many family partners should we have on our team?
Always more than one - so a family partner is never alone in their voice and work. Amount can also be viewed in layers of family engagement in QI
B. Preparation of family partners
B1. What training or onboarding is needed by families?
Texas did not used formal onboarding materials but they did begin by laying ground rules, orienting families to all aspects of the Texas CoIIN project
B2. How will we know what accommodations families may need to engage?
Ask them. Many worry that families will feel overwhelmed by requests to participate given their otherwise heavy loads, however, it is important
B3. What if families use team time as therapy or engage to “vent” rather than constructively participate?
One key tool to guide the workgroup to work, not vent, is that Sherry acts as the facilitator in her role as family leader from Texas P2P
B4. What is the right/ fair reimbursement rate for family roles and how do I get money to pay them?
Families in Texas are paid $25/hour for their role on the family workgroup. The rate was set based on the past experience/ recommendation of
C. Preparation of professional partners to engage with families
C1. What kinds of preparation do professionals on the team need to partner effectively with family members?
Transparency. Texas core team members have shared their AIM statement, charter, fishbone diagram and much more with the family workgroup
C2. What about confidentiality if they participate in a project with a clinic where they receive care?
Texas supports families in this situation by having Sherry as facilitator and enabling the family workgroup to meet at the clinic or off-site
C3. How do we know when is the right time to bring families into a project?
From the very beginning so that families, in all their roles, can see drafts, offer ideas/ lived experience and weigh-in in real time.
To learn more, please feel free to reach out to the Texas state team leads: