Drawing on several decades of work with families, pediatricians, other health care professionals, and policy makers, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides a definition of family-centered care. In pediatrics, family-centered care is based on the understanding that the family is the child’s primary source of strength and support. Further, this approach to care recognizes that the perspectives and information provided by families, children, and young adults are important in clinical decision making. This policy statement outlines the core principles of family-centered care, summarizes the recent literature linking family-centered care to improved health outcomes, and lists various other benefits to be expected when engaging in family-centered pediatric practice. The statement concludes with specific recommendations for how pediatricians can integrate family-centered care in hospitals, clinics, and community settings as well as in more broad systems of care.

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