Health Services Management

Health Services Advisory Committee

All Head Start and Early Head Start programs are required to establish and maintain a Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC) to support children’s healthy development. The HSAC is an advisory group usually composed of local health providers who represent a wide variety of local social services agencies. They may include pediatricians, nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, nutritionists, and mental health providers. Head Start staff and parents also serve on the HSAC. Effective partnerships are key to the success of this approach. HSACs help programs to make decisions about health services and strengthen the communities where Head Start families live.

Hear from four HSAC leaders about the successes in their work. These grantees represent an American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Head Start program, a Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) program, a small rural program, and a large urban program. Learn about successful strategies for recruitment and retention of HSAC members. Also, explore outstanding achievements, common themes, and lessons learned. The four grantees were nominated by regional technical assistance staff and approved by federal staff.

The HSAC is usually composed of Head Start staff, families, and local health providers who represent a wide variety of social services agencies. Many HSACs struggle with recruitment and attendance. This health chat suggests ways to overcome barriers of time, distance, and cost using virtual meeting technology.

Head Start programs provide health services in partnership with families and community health organizations. Together they support the health and safety of young children and their families. HSACs help programs to make decisions about health services. Weaving Connections is a resource that programs can use to help plan, recruit, engage, and evaluate the work of the HSAC.

This version of Weaving Connections preserves the framework of the five original modules. Programs will also find a new module that discusses how to use recent technologies to promote HSAC participation. Note: These resources are under review.

Additional Resources