Professional development in health recordkeeping and reporting is important for all staff. A systematic approach could include educating all staff on the importance of health information and services, how they are used, and how they can improve school readiness. Then, staff and stakeholders with responsibilities for the program’s health records or reporting can have more specific training.
Tips and Strategies for Training Staff
- Give training to staff and other stakeholders that includes one or more of these items as needed:
- Why health information, services, and screenings are important and their impact on school readiness
- The program’s recordkeeping and reporting policies and procedures
- Consent of the parent or legal guardian
- Data entry
- Health tracking
- Reviewing health information
- Health data and report review, analysis, and response
- Self-assessment Tool from the Head Start Management Systems: Guiding Questions
- Learning for New Leaders: Recordkeeping and Reporting
Collaboration with Families
Collaborating with families on the health information that programs need can support timely and complete health services. This includes educating families on why this information is shared, tracked, and reported, and how they can support their child’s health and school readiness. When families are familiar with the program’s procedures for parental or legal guardian consent, confidentiality, access, and maintenance of health information, this can support the family’s comfort and confidence in sharing. Lastly, sharing program-wide health trends and data with families can make it easier for them to request more services and resources when needed.
Tips and Strategies for Collaboration with Families
- Make sure that confidentiality procedures include getting written consent from a parent or legal guardian for all health services (45 CFR §§1302.41 and 1302.45; Sec. 657A). This includes services done by program staff and those by outside service providers whose records are shared with the Head Start program.
- Set up procedures for parental or legal guardian consent that:
- Are linguistically and culturally appropriate and have enough information to result in informed consent
- Allow for parental or legal guardian refusal of one or more services, and the right to take away previous consent at any time
- Have families become familiar with the program’s confidentiality and consent procedures.
- Educate families on why certain health information, services, and screenings are important.
- Share relevant health data with families, using the assessment questions in the health reporting section and making use of opportunities such as parent committees and the Policy Council.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: August 31, 2023