Utah Family Voices

Utah Family Voices

Our Mission

Family Voices aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities.

Through our national network, we provide families tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families and serve as a trusted resource on health care.+

Our Vision

Every child and youth with special needs receives family-centered care.

Our Children and Youth

It is estimated that 10.2 million children in the United States have special health care needs. Like other children and youth, those with special health care needs deserve a happy, healthy childhood and youth – attending school, enjoying community events, living with their families, and worshiping with friends and neighbors – as well as the opportunity to become productive adults.
However, unlike other children and youth, ours also have challenging health conditions – physical, mental, or emotional – that can make their lives and their families’ lives more complicated. Any child or youth at any time could develop a disability or chronic health condition.

Our Principles

Family-centered care. Because families are at the center of a child’s life, they must be equal partners in decision-making and all aspects of the child’s care. Family-centered care is community-based, coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent, and guided by what is best for each child and family.

  • Partnerships. Family-centered care is based upon strong and effective family-professional relationships built within the context of families’ and professionals’ cultural values and practices to improve decision-making, enhance outcomes, and assure quality.
  • Quality, access, affordability and acceptability. Children with special needs deserve primary and specialty health care that is of high quality, affordable, within geographic reach and respectful of family and community culture.
  • Health systems that work for families and children. Health policies and systems built on a foundation of family-centered, culturally and linguistically competent care must be the standard for all children.
  • Informed families/strong communities. Like their peers, children with special needs deserve every opportunity to enjoy a happy and healthy childhood at home in their communities. Families equipped with reliable, accurate information about ways to support their child’s health, education and social development will help them grow into productive adults as defined by their personal, family and community cultural beliefs and values.
  • Self-advocacy/empowerment. When informed and supported, young people with disabilities can make choices and advocate for themselves.