Using Policy Papers in Advocacy and Integrating Child Welfare: Two new editorials in Families, Systems and HealthJan 1, 2022
The Farley Health Policy Center took on the role of editorship for the Policy & Management section of the journal Families, Systems, & Health in 2021, with executive director Shale Wong and scholar Stephanie Gold as co-editors. Families, Systems, & Health publishes articles in the areas of health, systems and families science, with a particular focus on integrated care.
The first issue with the Farley Health Policy Center in this role includes a commentary in the Policy & Management section from steering committee member Richard Krugman and an editorial co-written by Shale Wong, Stephanie Gold, and the journal editors Jodi Polaha and Nadiya Sunderji.
Krugman’s commentary, Medicine, mental health and child welfare: "Three different worlds that need to amalgamate", describes how improvements seen in most areas of child health in the last 50 years have not been matched in child welfare. The field of child welfare took a step back in the 1980s when its role shifted from “helper” to “investigator.” Some programmatic bright spots are returning a focus to prevention and public health approaches. To move forward to achieve the necessary improvements in child abuse and neglect, barriers in workforce, funding, and data need to be addressed to bring health care, mental health, and child welfare together.
The editorial, What to do with that policy paper (and why), describes the importance of advocacy by health professionals, how to use policy papers in advocacy, and how policy organizations go about policy and advocacy work. The authors center on the example of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, Implementing high quality primary care: rebuilding the foundation of health care, published earlier this year. Health care professionals can start their journey to advocacy by reading it, citing and sharing it, practicing their “pitch” to get key points across, modeling the changes recommended, and sharing their stories with decision makers.