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What Makes Family-Centered Care Different

presented by Ellen Harrington-Kane

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Many states and credentialing agencies require therapists working with pediatric clientele and their families to use “family-centered care” and many clinicians are now beginning to incorporate it into their practices. But what really makes family-centered care different from traditional outpatient therapy? This course will teach you what “family-centered” really means and techniques you can use to empower families and build relationships based on trust, resulting in a higher level of family engagement and better outcomes for the child. Empowering families in a meaningful way results in a stronger therapeutic relationship and better outcomes for children and their families.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Ellen Harrington-Kane, M.S., HSM, OT

    Ellen Harrington-Kane is the Assistant Vice President of Affiliate Network Advancement for Easter Seals national headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. With over 30 years of experience as an occupational therapist and rehabilitation director for in-patient and outpatient therapy service and a master’s degree in Health Services Management, Ms. Harrington-Kane brings the business aspects of practice management to organizational operations and administration. Prior to joining Easter Seals, Ms. Harrington-Kane served as Director of Physical Medicine for a hospital system in Florida, which included in-patient clinics, outpatient clinics, an inclusive fitness center and contracts with other local agencies. During her time in Florida she worked on a local, regional and state level to develop early intervention policies and practices and provided training for the early intervention services for the State of Florida. She is passionate about global health care and eliminating health outcomes disparities. Ms. Harrington-Kane provides consultation, training and technical assistance to Easter Seals affiliate leadership and boards of directors nationwide. In her capacity as Assistant Vice President, Ms. Harrington-Kane shares her expertise in policy, program development, financial management, strategic visioning and organizational structure. Her innovative spirit is exemplified with her work in the treatment of autism, initiating Easter Seals’ Autism Initiative, the organization’s largest fundraising initiative in recent years, resulting in Easter Seals being recognized as the country’s largest provider of services for people with autism. Additionally, she partnered Easter Seals with the PLAY Project for research funded by the National Institute of Health to prove the efficacy of a new approach to treatment for young children. This work led to her recognition as the 2007 recipient of the Robert E. Bradford Leadership Award, selected by the governing board of Easter Seals headquarters. In addition to her work for Easter Seals headquarters, Ms. Harrington-Kane is a surveyor for CARF International, reviewing compliance to over 1,500 quality standards for organizations around the world.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. What Makes Family-Centered Care Different

    1. What Makes Family-Centered Care Different

    In this chapter, the learner will be introduced to some of the techniques for engaging families as the leader of the team and as a peer. They will learn why this is important, particularly for families of children with lifelong disabilities or medical complications.

  2. Leaving Judgement Behind

    2. Leaving Judgement Behind

    Coaching is the central technique that practitioners use in family-centered care. In this chapter, the learner will be introduced to two key concepts of coaching: leaving judgement behind and asking more than telling. These practices are how therapists strengthen the relationship with the family, build trust and open communication.

  3. Model, Mentor, and Coach

    3. Model, Mentor, and Coach

    This chapter distinguishes the difference between modeling, mentoring, supervising and coaching. The learner will observe these techniques and learn how and why coaching is the most effective approach to use with families.

  4. Characteristics of Coaching

    4. Characteristics of Coaching

    In this chapter, the five basic characteristics of coaching, as defined by Rush and Sheldon, will be defined and discussed, showing therapists in greater detail how to use coaching as a means of delivering family-centered care.