Families as partners
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota offers a variety of opportunities for family involvement. We hope you will consider getting involved through Families as Partners. We will work with you to match your skills, interests and your availability to various roles and opportunities.
There are several family volunteer pathways that provide all levels of involvement from one-time, short-term to long-term, ongoing commitments.
Families as Partners
Families as Partners promotes, coordinates, and supports family involvement throughout Children's organization. Opportunities include the Family-to-Family program, Family Advisory Council, Family Advocates, and Family Advisors, and the Youth Advisory Council.
*Photo from Board of Directors Meeting: Tessa, Barb, Heather, Veronica, Renee and Kate in CFS Publication – photo taken by Tanya Juarez-Sweeney
Families use their experiences to mentor, provide encouragement, emotional support and non-medical information to other families in a variety of ways, including one-to-one matches between families and family volunteers with similar experiences.
"I find so much joy in visiting with parents at their children's bedsides and discussing the concerns that are on their minds. We count ourselves extremely fortunate to be able to provide a strong, living testimony of the excellent work done at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota." - Veronica, NICU Pizza Break Host and Peer Mentor, Family Rounding
Family Advisory Council
The Family Advisory Council is a diverse group of parents whose children have received care at one of Children's facilities. They represent inpatient and outpatient experiences working collaboratively with staff to promote and enhance family-centered care and to improve the family and patient experiences.
FAC Profile Summary
"As Chair of the Family Advisory Council, I have seen firsthand the partnership shared between families and Children's staff. The council, who is made up of families and staff, work together to provide input and influence on policies, programs and practices throughout the hospital to ensure Patient-and-Family-Centered-Care is achieved." - Renee, Family Advisory Council Chairperson
Family Advocates play a role in advocating on behalf of Children's patients and on the behalf of the health of children. Families receive specific training and are informed of advocacy opportunities in regard to public policy issues affecting the health of children.
"Our family story may be hard to share and sometimes hard to hear, nonetheless it is even more gratifying to feel understood. It is fulfilling to know that our daughters' experiences could possibly influence our legislators' abilities to represent children, families and our local hospitals, and have better outcomes because of it." - Kate, Family Advocate who met with Senator Al Franken
*Photo of Kate Day meeting with Senator Al Franken / Heather Gillen with Senator Amy Klobauchar
Family Advisors are designated family representatives involved in committees, design teams, unit advisory councils, experience teams, policy groups, family panels, family focus groups and family testimonial events.
"Participating on the Cystic Fibrosis Family Council (CFFC) has been a great opportunity as a parent to partner with my daughter's care team to enhance our life experiences as well as other patients and families living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). In an effort to support these families, the team developed a brochure, Traveling with CF, to help families prepare for and enjoy traveling." - Jody, Cystic Fibrosis Family Council
*Photo from Board of Directors meeting or Leadership Forum
Youth Advisory Council
The Youth Advisory Council is a group of patients and siblings who provide feedback on issues related to healthcare experiences that are important to children and teens. They work in partnership with Child Life staff.
*Photo of Youth Advisory Council @ main entrance of the hospital
How Do You Become Involved Through Families as Partners?
Tessa Billman, Family Coordinator
We welcome applications from all interested families.