Family, Youth and Community Engagement: About the Initiative

Strengthening our Communities

Family, youth, and community engagement aims to strengthen programming by responding to participants’ experiences.

The Maternal Child Health (MCH) Program is committed to supporting successful partnerships and engagement with family, youth, and community members because this is a key strategy to advance health equity. 

Challenge Statement

Family, youth, and community members who receive support through our MCH system of local programs need to have their voices heard in meaningful partnerships because our programs will then be more responsive to their thoughts and ideas.

Local agencies need support to engage families, youth, and community members because this may be a paradigm shift.

Aim Statement

By December 31, 2025, we aim to strengthen family, youth, and community member engagement within all MCH programs because programs that respond to participants’ experiences are more effective.


How We Will Measure Our Progress

75 percentSeventy-five percent of Wisconsin’s MCH-funded programs are making progress or have embedded concepts of family, youth, and/or community member engagement on at least three indicators of the Community Engagement Assessment Tool.

75 percentMCH programs are making progress in enhancing their family, youth, and community member engagement. Seventy-five percent of programs will have a total score (sum of all indicators) greater than 35.

60 PercentOverall, MCH programs approach the work of family, youth, and community engagement beyond the traditional survey implementation. Sixty percent of programs that assess overall work in the categories of Discuss, Involve, or Partner.


Our Implementation Team

Becky Burns

Becky Burns, co-lead
Statewide Coordinator
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, Waisman Center University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, with Wisconsin Department of Health Service

Terry Kruse

Terry Kruse, co-lead
Maternal and Perinatal Nurse Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Charisse Daniels-Johnson

Charisse Daniels-Johnson, co-lead
Heath Equity Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Arianna Keil
Quality Improvement Director
Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin

Barbara Katz
Co-Director
Family Voices of Wisconsin

Amy Olejniczek
Associate Director
Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health and directs the Providers and Teens Communicating for Health (PATCH) program

Shawn Meyer
Maternal and Child Health Nurse Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Kara Mathewson
Sexual Violence Prevention Program Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Karen Morris
Reproductive Health Family Planning Nurse Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Kelli Stader
Nutrition Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Stephanie West
Epidemiologist and Evaluator
Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Last Revised: December 10, 2021