Evaluating the cultural competency of Family Check-Up 4 Health and the role of cross-sector collaboration in eliminating perceived barriers
FCU4Health is an adaption of an evidence-based program to address the pediatric obesity epidemic in the United States. Qualitative interviews were conducted with nine program providers to understand possible cultural variation in family engagement with the program. Interviews were coded to develop a scheme that identifies themes among the coordinators’ experiences through a grounded theory approach, narrowing the scope of topics discussed to create a specific theoretical framework that integrates categories of coordinator experiences. Results showed that the prioritization of what families’ needs are and what resources/parenting modules coordinators utilize followed Maslow's hierarchy of needs, putting child health and safety at the forefront. Barriers to family engagement with the program and with coordinator recommendations are largely cross-cultural and socioeconomic in nature due to not having enough time to follow-through with work/family obligations. However, there were some specific cultural groups such as Latino multigenerational families and immigration status that did pose similar barriers across multiple families that allowed for more generalized themes for those particular cultural groups. Other individualized case studies presented by coordinators showed nuances in barriers to resource utilization between cultural groups at the familial level. In addition, multiple coordinators stated that their most successful resources in engaging families have come with resources that have collaborations with other organizations. In order to address the barriers to accessing health-related services for low-income families that are disproportionately individuals of minority cultural groups, it is vital to have cross-sector collaboration as a mindset towards finding effective and all-encompassing resources for these vulnerable individuals. The non-profit, public, and private sector each have unique strengths that can contribute to reducing health disparities for those suffering with pediatric obesity.