Kids posing in group photoThe Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI), at Johns Hopkins University, has designed the CARE_PATH for Kids (CPK), which is a three-step whole child approach for families of children and youth with special health care needs to engage, plan, and improve care planning and outcomes in partnership with their child’s care team(s).

CPK steps

On this website, families, providers, practices, and organizations can learn about and access the CPK tools and resources for use. The CPK is a part of CAHMI’s Cycle of Engagement (COE) model of care. The COE is a model of parent-centered care in pediatrics, to improve quality and outcomes of all aspects of well-child care. To learn more about the COE, click here.


What CARE_PATH stands for

The CARE_PATH for Kids (CPK) is a model of care that:

  • Engages families in the care of their child with special health care needs.
  • Promotes improved partnerships between families and their care team(s) to work together to build a shared plan of care that is based on family strengths, priorities, needs, concerns, goals and their social and environmental context.
  • Includes the CPK tools: the Family Foundations of Care (FFC) Planner, the Family Foundations of Care (FFC) Plan and CPK Shared Planning Meeting. You can learn about and access the CPK tools and resources on this website.

How the CARE_PATH for Kids works at a practice or organization level

The CARE_PATH for Kids might be a new approach for your team - one that will be more successful if you take the steps to get your team and families on board and engage them all along the way. Here is an example of a simple intervention flow diagram that you can adopt.

workflow visual

The CPK Model

Framework of the CPK Model


Benefits of Using the CARE_PATH for Kids

  • Families reflect and share their current care, strengths, needs, priorities, visions and goals with their care team(s).
  • There is a central location of information to make sharing easy across different providers.
  • The care team(s) partner with families to address their needs and priorities; develop shared goals; and identify action steps to achieve the goals.
  • There is increased trust and collaboration between families and their care team(s).

The expected outcomes with continued use of CPK are:

  • Improved care planning and outcomes.
  • Improved quality of care over time.
  • Improved treatment use and results.
  • Reduction in treatment costs.
  • Increased care value and efficiency.

Development and Testing of the CPK Model and Tools

Background and Development

Data from the 2016-2017 National Survey of Children's Health shows that children with special health care needs (CSHCN) represent almost 19% of all US children age 0-17 (13.76 million). The majority of CSHCN have more complex needs and have multiple health conditions requiring multiple types of health care and related services. Yet, the majority of CSHCN do not receive recommended care, including family centeredness and care coordination.

With funding from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, in collaboration with providers and families, CAHMI has developed a model and tools for engaging families of children with special health care needs that were pilot tested with families and provider teams.  Family, clinical and research leaders were also engaged throughout the development process. The resulting CARE_PATH for Kids (CPK) Model and Tools integrates best practice research and findings.

Selected findings from testing of CPK with families

Overall, do you think that FFC Planner will increase the value of your child's care?

Chart of Findings

Did the CPK help you learn about the kinds of topics that you can discuss with your child’s doctor(s)?

Chart of Findings

How likely are you to recommend the FFC Planner to other parents?


CARE_PATH for Kids Tools

Access the Family Foundations of Care Planner and Family Foundations of Care Plan. 

Implement CARE_PATH for Kids

Access information and resources to implement the CPK model and tools in your practice or organization.