176878 Bringing down barriers and crossing borders: Family planning partnerships with faith based organizations

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Claudine Offer, MPH , California Family Health Council, Berkeley, CA
Maryjane Puffer, BSN, MPA , California Family Health Council, Los Angeles, CA
Annette Amey, MS, PhD , California Family Health Council, Berkeley, CA
Mary Gomez Daddio, MPA , California Family Health Council, Los Angeles, CA
Laurel Beyrer , Clinical and Community Health Programs, California Family Health Council, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Background: Health care initiatives have stressed the importance of crossing the borders of traditional health promotion strategies to address hard to reach populations. To reduce barriers, the California Family Health Council, Inc. (CFHC) created a program to increase knowledge about family planning services in faith-based community organizations in 2002. The Faith Based Community Organization Partnerships (FBCOP) program has evolved to include nine organizations with different program strategies and a uniform evaluation component.

Methods: Faith based community organizations received funding in order to provide comprehensive sexual health education, counseling and referrals in partnership with a local Title X family planning clinic. Individual FBCOP programs addressed diverse communities with a variety of strategies including: training clergy as health educators, health education workshops for teens, media campaigns, and counseling services. Evaluation included a partnership questionnaire, surveys, and a uniform set of family planning questions.

Results: Three years of program implementation experience have provided opportunities for learning related to partnership building with faith communities. An inclusive and collaborative approach to evaluation was essential to address diverse program strategies among non-traditional health education providers. The uniform set of required questions addressed knowledge of STD and pregnancy prevention and access to clinic services and support.

Conclusions: The centerpiece of this program is the development of a dynamic and mutually enhancing partnership between the faith based community organization and their family planning clinic partners. Evaluation data continues to provide essential information to both partnerships and program implementation.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify at least three benefits of partnership in addressing hard to reach populations. 2. Describe two ways that faith based programs can lead to referrals to family planning clinics and services. 3. Discuss challenges involved in faith community and health agency collaboration.

Keywords: Family Planning, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Many years of experience in family planning. Current role as Program Evaluation Manager of projects including project described in abstract. MPH degree.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.