This was a wonderful opportunity for the county and cities to collaborate in new ways to help our community’s children and families.” —County Supervisor Salud Carbahol, Santa Barbara County
Our city was able to expand its goal of ‘Healthy Living and a Healthy Lifestyle’ by taking part in activities to enroll children in affordable health insurance. It was a great opportunity to continue our tradition of reaching out to the community.”
—Alan Shear, Assistant City Manager, City of Huntington Park
Like any important activity that a local agency launches, it’s important to do your homework first before designing a project. In the case of outreach and enrollment activities to connect families with affordable health insurance for their children, a little background research helps a lot.
Take these steps first:
1. Find out who already is helping to connect families with affordable children’s health insurance. Check with the county to find out what it is already doing. Similarly, find out if there is a Children’s Health Initiative operating in the county and, if so, what type of activities it is conducting.
- In California, contact your county welfare department to learn what they are doing in your area. Depending on your county, the Children’s Health Initiative may also be involved. Some cities may already make health insurance information available at city facilities, such as recreation or community centers.
Find out which non-profit and other organizations in your community are helping to educate families about affordable health insurance options for children. Many community groups, non-profit organizations and neighborhood community centers are involved in educating community residents about the availability of children’s health insurance. Look for a neighborhood community center that you can collaborate with to get information to residents on no- or low-cost children’s health insurance.
2. Learn as much as you can about the target population you wish to reach. Are the children you want to help already enrolled in affordable health insurance? Are other groups in the community already targeting their families with outreach activities? Often it’s not possible to learn this before getting started, but it’s important to remain flexible so that when you learn new information about the families you want to help, you can use it to make your outreach efforts more effective.
Once you have determined the existing local activities in your community, the next step is to select the right activities for your agency.