The Center for Family Voice at Groundwork Ohio is a “center for excellence” dedicated to authentically engaging Ohio parents and families in the policies and practices that impact the healthy development of their children. The Center will be an ongoing, multi-year committed learning process focused on eliminating disparities in systems that serve pregnant women, young children, and their families. Ultimately, the Center will drive programmatic, policy, and practice changes at local, regional, and state levels by integrating the family voice into the decision-making process of Ohio’s family-serving systems.
The Center for Family Voice is being developed as an innovative response to the lack of authentic family voices in the development of policy and practices that deeply impact Ohio pregnant women, young children, and their families. While there are certainly local programs and entities that may include family engagement as an aspect of service delivery or an evidence-based intervention, building infrastructure to support the centering of family voices to inform public policy is unique to Groundwork Ohio and the Center. While Groundwork’s approach is certainly unique in Ohio, it also holds the opportunity of informing national work in this developing area of policy, engagement, and advocacy.