Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN)
- Birth Defects Monitoring and Analysis
- Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
- Follow Along Program (FAP)
- Longitudinal Follow-up for Newborn Screening Conditions
Information and Resources for:
The Follow Along Program Community Engagement Team
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is seeking to partner with families, community members, and Tribal Nations that support young children and their caregivers to improve the Follow Along Program.
What is the Follow Along Program?
The Follow Along Program helps parents and caregivers of young children learn about their child’s development and identify any concerns, connecting them to supports and services based on those concerns.
Why are we changing the Follow Along Program?
We are working to evaluate and improve the Follow Along Program to better meet the needs of families living in Minnesota with young children who may have special health needs. Though the program does not have eligibility requirements (beyond the age range of birth to kindergarten entrance) and is free for families, we know that the program is not reaching all families in need of supports and services in an equitable way that considers their culture and priorities.
We need input from a wide variety of perspectives to be able to better serve families with children who may have special health needs – regardless of their background and where they live in Minnesota. Your role as a Community Leader would be to make recommendations and provide feedback to inform program updates.
Join the Community Engagement Team!
MDH is seeking to partner with families, community members, and Tribal Nations that support young children and their caregivers as we improve the Follow Along Program. While we would love to engage with members that have direct experience with the Follow Along Program, this is not a requirement for your participation.
We are asking for you to commit to participating online for a minimum of six meetings through June 2024. After June 2024, you can choose to end your participation or can continue working with us through June 2025.
Below is a list of agreements and the time commitment expected for your participation:
- Your input will provide guidance on the program evaluation and redesign process as well as making recommendations for updates to the program model. We are seeking families, community leaders, and Tribal Nations provide feedback so that we can ensure your voice is incorporated into our program evaluation and planning.
- You will meet online approximately 6 times per year for 2 hours each session. Time together will occur virtually to allow for broad representation across the state of Minnesota. Time commitment would be up to 20 hours in total (through June 2024), including outside subcommittee work and/or activities.
- Attend online and actively participate in group activities, reviewing materials, completing surveys, and participating in focused discussions to provide input on the family experience of the early childhood system and Follow Along Program.
- Review materials prior to discussions and come prepared to actively participate.
Can I receive reimbursement for participating?
If you (or your organization) do not have funding to support your participation in our engagement, we do have stipends available as compensation for your time and expertise. We can reimburse you $75/hour for your participation in Community Engagement activities.
Your reimbursement will be provided through an Annual Plan Agreement, which is a formal contract between you (or your organization) and the Minnesota Department of Health that provides up to $5,000 for services provided. To receive an Annual Plan Agreement, you (or your organization) will need to register as a vendor within the Statewide Integrated Financial Tools (SWIFT) system. If you are registering as an individual, you will need to provide a social security number. We can provide more information to you on the Annual Plan Agreement and registration process after you have been assigned to the engagement opportunities of your choice.
Okay, I’m interested! What do I do next?
Please complete this very short survey to express your interest:
If you have any questions, please reach out to Michele Kvikstad, Follow Along Program Coordinator, at 651-201-3723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.