Resource | Tip/Fact Sheet

Partnering With Families in Continuous Quality Improvement

  • Authors:
  • Karen Zeribi
  • Mary Mackrain
  • MaryCatherine Arbour
  • Kelley O'Carroll
  • Julie Leis
Project: Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation

available downloads

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) supports voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services for at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.

States and territories receiving funding from MIECHV are required to engage in continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts. CQI can help programs improve services, processes, and outcomes. Involving participants and families may help to collaboratively set goals to ensure prioritization of work with direct value to participants, build trust, develop innovations, expand team capacity, and provide motivation and a reminder of the importance of home visiting. This tip sheet and workbook discuss the potential benefits of partnering with participants and their families in CQI efforts and review strategies programs can use to do so effectively.

The tip sheet presents a continuum of stages and strategies for engaging participants and families in different ways, based on a scale developed by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center:

  • Participants and families can be engaged in ad-hoc or short-term ways at first, such as surveys and focus groups.
  • Teams should take steps to prepare to involve families in CQI efforts, including consulting readiness assessment tools, and considering recruitment and training efforts.
  • As they learn how to involve family partners, teams may need to adapt some habits and procedures to welcome participants and families, such as considering appropriate meeting time and space and encouraging participation.
  • Eventually, families may be able to take on leadership roles, such as leading or co-leading improvement initiatives.

The stages of this continuum are not always linear. Teams should develop ways to partner with families and work together to build trust and improve services and outcomes.

The accompanying workbook from an interactive workshop will help programs generate strategies for partnering with families in CQI and assess their progress. Resources are provided for each stage of the engagement continuum.