Relevance of the WVP
While initially developed for pediatricians and others providing well child care services, there is substantial overlap in topics addressed in well-child care visits and Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) programs. The program’s role as a collaborator in health promotion and broker of health services makes the WVP a relevant tool for many HS/EHS programs. It has potential to catalyze effective collaboration between HS/EHS programs and pediatric medical homes on behalf of young children and families.
The WVP can also be viewed as a tool to support program efforts to meet a variety of Head Start program performance standards (HSPPS), including those related to health as well as family partnership agreements, goal setting, and parent engagement. While family partnership agreements are not required to be documented, the WVP can provide materials for building that partnership between the family and the health care system. It can also be used as a model for partnerships with other systems with which the family is interacting.
- Help engage parents in child’s health
- Alert provider to sensitive issues
- Help focus the visit
- Improve work flow in the practice
- Improve satisfaction with the visit (for both parents and providers)
- Improve quality and efficiency of well-child visit
Families who use the WVP can easily identify areas of concern for their child and are given tools to take to the physician to facilitate conversation. When HS/EHS staff assist with the completion of the WVP with families – or at least in the review of the visit guide prior to the child’s well visit – there is an opportunity to:
- Address key issues that are relevant to the program’s health-related HSPPS such as
- immunization status,
- developmental and behavioral concerns,
- issues around medication management,
- management of chronic health issues like asthma or mental health;
- Normalize difficult health conversations (such as those related to behavioral health);
- Develop a stronger partnership with the medical home to provide even more comprehensive support; and
- Use resources through the medical home that may not normally be available through the HS/EHS program.