October 1997

The Nathan Cummings Foundation


October 1997

Institute for Family-Centered Care
Bethesda, MD


Moving Forward with Family-Centered Care in Teaching Hospitals Serving Women, Infants and Children

The Institute for Family-Centered Care (IFCC) has played a key role in encouraging healthcare providers to adopt family-centered approaches to care for women and children. IFCC serves as a central resource for policy makers, administrators, program planners, direct service providers, educators, design professionals, and family members. Their staff promote change and enhance the quality of health and other human services through development of print and audiovisual resources, information dissemination, policy and research initiatives, training seminars, and technical assistance. This year, NCF support to the Institute will assist in providing technical assistance to over 80 hospitals that have participated in IFCC seminars, facilitating information-sharing between the hospitals, and planning and convening a seminar on family-centered care for community-based prenatal programs.

Family-centered care is an approach to health care that offers a new way of thinking about the relationships between families and health care providers. Family-centered practitioners acknowledge that emotional, social, and developmental support are integral components of health care. They respect the choices that patients and families make in accordance with their values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. Family-centered practitioners involve patients and families in planning, delivery, and evaluation of their own health care services.