Families as Advisors

What is a family advisor?

Family advisors are people who use their family’s experiences to influence decisions and help shape programs and policies at Seattle Children’s. We value the unique perspectives and expertise of families. Families have much to offer, teach and share.

What does a family advisor do?

Partnering with families is the basis of everything we do at Seattle Children’s. You can help develop family-centered healthcare practices, programs and policies. As an advisor, you could:

  • Take part in feedback groups that focus on change.
  • Become a member of a committee.
  • Review written or web-based materials.
  • Become a member of the Family Advisory Council.
  • Be part of a CPI (Continuous Performance Improvement) event.

How Families Make a Difference – Projects at Seattle Children’s

Families improve service and quality

CPI (Continuous Performance Improvement) is how the hospital improves service and quality of care. Issues are identified, for example, how surgeries are scheduled or how medicines are ordered at discharge. Workgroups are created to look at challenges and solve them. Parents have participated in hour-long panel discussions or week-long workshops.

Families said...

“As a parent of a child who frequently visits Seattle Children’s, I am thrilled to see how parent input is considered and subsequently implemented. It is really rewarding to see parents’ ideas put into practice in the daily activities of the hospital. From processes to building layout planning, the hospital has involved parents in the analysis and design of the future at Children’s.”

Julia Acheson, parent, Redmond

Families orient staff

Parents participate in the orientation process for anesthesia residents, fellows and nurses. These orientations include an open discussion about what leads to effective partnerships with patients and families.

Families said...

“Ever wonder what new anesthesia residents at Seattle do the first day on the job? They meet with the parent of a patient and learn about the patient and family experience. From the onset, anesthesia residents understand the importance the hospital places on partnering with families by sitting down that very first day with a parent. I appreciate the hospital's commitment to and respect of families.”

Cassandra Sage, parent, Kirkland

Families review patient education materials

Families read and assess patient and family handouts and give us feedback on how understandable and useful they are. We use the feedback to improve the writing and content, and share it with clinicians so that we are making our materials as patient- and family-centered as possible.

Could I become an advisor?

You would make a good family advisor if:

  • Your child is a patient at Seattle Children’s.
  • You like to work on a team.
  • You care about making Seattle Children’s better.
  • You are willing to reflect on your experiences.
  • You are open to learning about yourself.
  • You can speak up honestly and thoughtfully.
  • You have time and interest to work on behalf of all families.

Learn More


Or view these handouts