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Family-Centered Care: What Is It and Why Is It Important

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Family-centered care is for children who have any chronic illness or developmental disabilities. The purpose of family-centered care is to regard the needs of the family and the patient instead of separating these two aspects. After all, children with developmental disabilities or chronic illnesses are dependent on their families and need constant support. Therefore, the type of services in which there is a family-professional partnership to ensure the well-being of children and families is called family-centered care. It’s more than conventional healthcare services, as it honors the traditions, culture, and expertise that professionals and families put in this relationship. Hence, family-centered care aims to improve the family’s and the patient’s experience with different healthcare aspects, improve communication, reduce stress and conflict.

Moreover, the main focus remains on the patient with a chronic illness. In addition to that, family-centered care ensures that the family-professional partnership is beneficial. As a result, children receive high-quality care. It ensures that the child’s healthcare is planned to keep the whole family in mind, and they play a crucial decision-making role. For this reason, let’s discuss the importance of family-centered care.

1. Improved decision-making 

When healthcare providers and families collaborate, they can find healthcare solutions for the patient in a manner that is agreeable to both parties. The involvement of a healthcare professional ensures that the family makes informed decisions. Moreover, they also ensure that the family environment is suitable for the child’s well-being. For example, if a family member has an addiction problem, the healthcare provider would do their best to provide help. They mostly recommend a reputed addiction recovery facility such as Serenity at Summit in such a scenario. Doing so would ensure that the child gets the best care possible.

The family also collaborates with healthcare professionals to find solutions that they can easily fulfill. Such collaboration allows both parties to make an informed decision for the child’s well-being.

2. Communication

The main aim of family-centered care is to involve the family in the patient’s well-being. For this reason, the professionals and the patient’s family communicate with each other openly. They share complete information without holding anything back and keep all the information unbiased. The benefit of such communication is that the other party can find the information useful, ensuring support for the patient. Moreover, proper communication between the family and the professionals ensures that each party is aware of the patient’s condition. Hence, open communication becomes the key to maintaining a respectful and cooperative family-centered care approach.

3. Respect and dignity 

Respect and dignity of the family are the utmost priority in family-centered care. Professionals realize that every family has its own culture and traditions, and these aspects deserve respect. Moreover, the family’s race, orientation, and other preferences should not become barriers to patient care. Therefore, family-centered care ensures that the family is treated with respect and dignity.

In addition to that, the expertise and preferences of the professionals are just as important. Nonetheless, family-centered care ensures that each person involved in patient care is treated with care and dignity.

4. Flexibility 

The family-centered care approach recognizes that each patient and family is different and requires unique support. Hence, family-centered care ensures flexibility in different policies and procedures and tailors the services and practices according to the patient’s needs.

In addition to that, they also keep the family’s values, morals, and traditions in mind when tailoring the policies and practices. It ensures that each child and family gets the best possible treatment.

5. Empowers the child and the family 

Family-centered care revolves around the family. It is only natural that the approach empowers the family to make decisions. It helps families find their strengths and use them for the child’s well-being. This practice builds confidence in the family, and they can make better decisions and choices.

As the child grows into an adolescent, the family-centered care approach also focuses on empowering the child. It gives them the confidence to recognize their needs and health requirements and make better decisions for themselves.

Important concepts in family-centered care

Some important concepts in family-centered care that ensure its quality are:

  • Acknowledgment of family as a constant in the patient’s life.
  • Empowering the family and building on their strengths.
  • Supporting the child by informing them about their health and encouraging them to make decisions about their care.
  • Honoring the family culture, traditions, and values.
  • Encouraging family to family support.

Conclusion

The main basis of family-centered care is centered around the family-professional partnership. Both of these parties work together to ensure the health of the child. Moreover, the decisions they make are in the best interest of the child and the family. In addition to that, the skills and expertise that each party brings to the table are important and play a main role in determining care methods. Hence, we can say that family-centered care requires fundamental trust, that both parties wish for the best for the child in question.

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