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2 Communications Kit Reaching Latino Families An Outreach Guide in English and Spanish This kit is made possible through Covering Kids: A National Program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with Direction Provided by The Southern Institute on Children and Families.

3 Acknowledgements Thank you to the following individuals and organizations that provided thoughtful guidance and technical assistance in developing this document. The Adelphi/Langley Park Family Support Center and Its Families Adelphi, MD Shelly Almaguer Doña Ana Chapter of the New Mexico Advocates for Children and Families Las Cruces, NM Maria Arroyo Latino Community in Oklahoma County Oklahoma City, OK Barbara Matacera Barr The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Princeton, NJ Rebeca Maria Barrera National Latino Children s Institute Austin, TX David Cadeña Muskegon Community Health Project Muskegon, MI Rodrigo Cárdeñas, MD La Salúd Hispana, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Carla Chávez New Mexico Advocates for Children and Families Albuquerque, NM Tina Cheatham Health Resources and Services Administration Rockville, MD John Church Céntro Hispano of Southern Oregon Covering Kids Pilot Medford, OR Marisa de la Garza Texas Association of Community Health Centers Austin, TX Shawn Fremstad Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Washington, DC Ana Maria Garza Project Alberto/Covering Kids Coalition San Antonio, TX Cindy Guerra Yuma County Department of Public Health Yuma, AZ Jocelyn Guyer Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Washington, DC José Hernandez El Rio Community Health Center Tucson, AZ Laura León Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition Chicago, IL Añel Mercado Public Health - Seattle and King County Seattle, WA Álvaro Morales Bringing Up Healthy Kids Coalition San Francisco, CA New Mexico Prenatal Care Network University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM

4 Christy Osius DuPage County Health Department Wheaton, IL Daniel Payne Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals New Orleans, LA Vicky Pulos Formerly of Families USA Foundation Washington, DC Martha Ramirez Prince George s County Covering Kids Pilot Forestville, MD Dan Reyña New Mexico Border Health Offices Las Cruces, NM Donna Cohen Ross Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Washington, DC Rosario Ruiz Human Services Coalition of Dade County Miami, FL Cindy Tomlinson Forsyth County Department of Public Services Winston-Salem, NC Robert Valdez, PhD Department of Health Services UCLA School of Public Health Los Angeles, CA Christy Woods Covering Kids Initiative Springfield, MA Elena Rodriguez Terry Reilly Health Services Nampa, ID

5 How To Use the Kit Almost one-third of Hispanic children living in the United States of America lack health coverage. Enrolling eligible Latino children in a State Children s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Medicaid is crucial to the success of these programs and the health and well-being of Latino communities. But despite the hard work of community groups around the nation, enrolling these children is no easy task. Outreach workers struggle with obstacles such as fear of the INS and the low prioritization of the importance of health coverage and sometimes a reliance on home remedies. Traditional public health barriers like lack of transportation, non-conventional shifts or long working hours, and language difficulties further compound these problems. The Covering Kids Initiative, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, convened a small working-group of grantees working on Latino outreach to help develop the contents of the Covering Kids Communications Kit: Reaching Latino Families. The kit provides ideas, resources and templates that may help you overcome barriers and make the work of outreach to the media and in the communities in which you work and live easier. Because there is no one "umbrella" term for people of Latin descent or origin, the words Latino and Hispanic have been used interchangeably and equally throughout this kit. The components of the kit center on two unifying threads in the Hispanic community - the love of children and the commitment to hard work. Just as there are themes that unify the Latino culture, there is diversity as well. While the Covering Kids Communications Kit tries to give you the simplest tools to reach and persuade uninsured families, it is not a substitute for understanding the Latino community. Depending on their country of origin, or descent, people may have different comfort levels with health care and governmentsponsored health benefits. Likewise, first and second, third or fourth generation immigrants may each have different perceptions. Every community is unique and therefore every community merits exploration. There are however several overarching themes to keep in mind when conducting outreach on health coverage in Hispanic communities; they include: Health coverage may not be a familiar concept; therefore its value may need to be communicated. Families are the highest priority. Parents make many sacrifices for their children. By enrolling in SCHIP or Medicaid, parents make a simple, yet invaluable, contribution to their children s health and well being. Mothers, fathers, grandparents and extended family (i.e. aunts and uncles) are influential in the decision-making process. Respected community members are excellent messengers. Find trusted volunteers in churches, business groups and social clubs and utilize the recommendations of enrollees. i

6 This kit s information is yours. You are encouraged to copy and distribute it to anyone and everyone you know. The kit becomes more valuable as more people utilize it. A disk has been provided so that you can localize information with your program name, phone number, address and web site. If you have questions about the kit or about how to use the enclosed disks, please contact Covering Kids at or 202/ If you would like to adapt or change the kit s content in any way, please write Kristine Hartvigsen with your request at the Covering Kids National Program Office 1821 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC The kit is in Spanish and English. It is broken into three sections: Community Outreach, Media Outreach and Time Savers. Instructions on using the disk are included in the Time Savers section. Here s a rundown of the kit s contents and how to use them: Community Outreach Immigration Facts Flyer:...COMING SOON Fear and distrust of the INS are major obstacles to overcome for immigrant families. This flyer provides the basics on the health coverage programs that immigrants can apply for or obtain for their children. Place the flyer in media kits, in handouts at presentations, and wherever you post information about how to enroll. Tips and Talking Points for Outreach Workers on Immigration and Children s Health Coverage Benefits:...PAGE 1 Who provides immigration information in your community and what basics do they need to know about health coverage? Here are some ideas on whom to approach and the key information they need to better serve the Hispanic community. Valuable Events & Bright Ideas:...PAGES 2-7 These informational sheets contain tips and suggestions on outreach and events. The suggestions should help attract more potential enrollees and ease the application process. Recruiting, Training and Retaining Promotoras:...PAGES 8-9 Lay health-outreach workers are an important component of community health outreach. Learn about possible ways to recruit, train and retain them. Tips on Working with Community Organizations and Reaching Out to Local Businesses and Employers:...PAGES Work with community based organizations, school lunch programs, and faith-based organizations. Expand the breadth and depth of your outreach, your coalition members and/or their contributions using the suggestions in these two documents. Introductory Letter to Business Leaders:...PAGE 15 Let the employers in your area know how important it is to get involved and tell their employees and customers about SCHIP and Medicaid. Mail, fax or them a letter giving them the facts before calling with your request. Localize the information in [BRACKETS]. Like you, these people are busy, so keep it brief. Attach a localized fact sheet. ii

7 Fact Sheets:...PAGES Primarily used in media work, fact sheets can explain the need for a business to join your coalition or help make the case for a presentation to employees. Beef up the provided template with local statistics. Template Award for Volunteers:...PAGE 16 Everyone needs a pat on the back. A certificate is a simple way of letting your volunteers know how much you honor and appreciate their work. Media Outreach Tips on Working with the Media:...PAGES Media relations can be intimidating. These simple guidelines should save time and help you start off on the right foot with members of your local media. Tips for working with print, television and radio are provided. News Advisory Guidelines:...PAGES If you want media to attend your event, give them a heads-up with a media advisory. An advisory gives the who, what, when, where and why without giving away the details that make a story newsworthy. This easy-to-follow guide explains how to set up an advisory and the kinds of information to provide. Send an advisory a few days in advance and the day before an event and always follow up to make sure the appropriate person received it. Press Release Guidelines:...PAGES If you don t need the media to come to your event, or if you want them to publicize the event in advance, use a press release to give them the whole story in advance. Press releases can also be sent to media who do not make it to your event after the event is over. This easy-to follow guide explains how to set up a press release and where to put information. Drop-in Article for Church Bulletins and Community Newsletters:...PAGE 25 Localize the information in [BRACKETS], then ask a respected community or parish leader to modify or personalize the article. The endorsement of a local, recognized leader adds great credibility to your outreach. Fact Sheets:...PAGES Here is some national data on Hispanics and health coverage and other important areas that affect health and quality of life. Facts and statistics amplify the lessons of your story. Incorporate local facts in your press releases and enclose a copy of a fact sheet that gives information at a glance. Time Savers Using the Disks:...PAGES The enclosed disks allow you to utilize photographs of families and localize and manage template materials. You can also easily link to valuable web pages via the disk. These simple instructions explain how. Images of Latino Families:...PAGE 30 iii

8 This print-out displays photographs of Hispanic families provided on disk. The photos, for your use to promote SCHIP and Medicaid programs, depict a variety of families and children of many ages. Using the Web as a Resource:...PAGES Contacts, statistics, rules and regulations are constantly changing. Some issues on immigration, applications and procedures merit more than what can be covered in one kit. This handout of frequently asked questions gives you addresses of pages that have the details and the answers. Web pages are in constant flux too; please check your favorite resources frequently to stay acquainted with the contents. If you have Microsoft Windows, try using the disk version for easier access to the web sites. Evaluation of Programs and Community Events:...PAGES Evaluation is an important and necessary part of the work you do. Here are some simple evaluation guidelines that will help you demonstrate your success to donors and the community and help you better allocate resources and time. We have included a sample evaluation form that can serve as a template. Vendors for Give-Away Items :...PAGE 37 This list provides an overview of vendors but comes with no recommendations or endorsements. Messages that Resonate And Why:...PAGES Through research, Covering Kids found several key message points that gain the attention of parents of children eligible for SCHIP or Medicaid. Research findings, key messages, PSA scripts and text for flyers are provided in these pages. iv

9 Tips and Talking Points for Outreach Workers on Immigration and Children s Health Coverage Benefits Immigrants fears of deportation or jeopardizing their immigration status for using health coverage benefits are a tremendous challenge for outreach workers to overcome. Fortunately, there is good news to report the INS has stated that enrolling in SCHIP or Medicaid cannot adversely affect the immigration status of any family member. There has been some confusion on these issues, so make sure immigration lawyers and notarios in your area know the law before you refer families to them. Getting to the Information Givers It is important to make sure that accurate information about health benefits and immigration issues is in the hands of legal, health and social service providers, immigration consultants, and legal firms that handle immigration cases. Additionally, many families in Hispanic communities often rely on notarios for low-cost legal counsel. In Latin America, the term notarios means legal expert. Therefore, many immigrants may think of them as trusted resources on immigration law. But in the United States, the term is more synonymous with notary. It is critical to inform notarios about current immigration rules so they can pass along accurate advice. You won t find very many notarios with web pages or listings in the yellow pages. To find them, you must go to Latino communities, look for their office signs, go inside and introduce yourself. A notario may deny that he or she provides immigration services. Be respectful and explain that you are not with the government or the INS as the case may be. Offer to provide them with resources that do provide immigration services, basic guidelines on immigration and health coverage benefits, and contact information for sound immigration services in the event that they ever encounter a request. Remember that notarios are busy people. Some have been known to do everything from taxes to airline tickets. Tax time is not a good time to reach out to notarios. A Few Guidelines Your child s application, enrollment and use of public health programs, such as a State Children s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) or Medicaid, will not hurt you or your child s immigration status or your chances of getting a green card. You cannot have your green card revoked if your child or other family member uses SCHIP or Medicaid benefits. Your child or other family member s enrollment in SCHIP or Medicaid cannot prevent you from sponsoring non-citizen relatives, so long as you submit the required papers showing you can support them at a minimum level required by law. The government treats health benefits differently from cash assistance. Because each case is unique, consult an immigration attorney or the Immigration and Naturalization Service web site at 1

10 Valuable Events and Bright Ideas The following event ideas are a starting place for you to spread the message about the importance of enrolling Hispanic children in SCHIP and Medicaid. Outreach events should happen in locations frequented by Latino families. Success is measured by the number of children enrolled in SCHIP and Medicaid programs not by the number of people who attend an event or pick up information. If possible, set up a quiet, private space and make it easy to enroll people on the spot. Inform people in advance about what documentation to bring. Use flyers, letters, announcements on public address systems at work sites and schools, donated ad space and news stories - whatever is appropriate for your target audience. See tips on evaluation too! VALUABLE EVENTS Use a Strong Foundation Take advantage of events already happening, especially those at your local church or place of worship. Speak to the clergy or administrator to bring him or her on board with your efforts to enroll more kids. Ask for space in the church bulletin (see sample drop-in) or a few minutes at the end of the service to talk to the congregation about the importance and ease of insuring their children. Some pastors may be willing to include messages about health coverage in their sermon. Make your events festive. Hispanic holidays are a great time for outreach activities: Cinco de Mayo, May 5 Children s Day (El Dia de los Ninos), April 30 Party of the Sun (La Fiesta del Sol), March 20, June 21, September 22, December 21 Patronal parties (Fiesta patronales) - consult your local Catholic church for dates Mother s Day (El Día de las Madres), second Sunday in May Christmas (La Navidad) December 25 th Grandparents Day (El Dia de los Abuelos), Sunday after Labor Day Annual international festivals Try to enroll kids at job fairs where parents are already enticed by the employment opportunities. Make it easy for them to get information about the health care benefits their children need and deserve. Conduct outreach activities at cultural festivals and Spanish language concerts that draw families. Make sure that there is some sort of draw to your booth such as button making, clowns, face painting or give-away items like balloons, bumper stickers, grabber clips, toothbrushes or yo-yos. Try to attract teens as well as young children and their parents. Set up a booth at bridal fairs to disseminate literature and give-away items. 2

11 Build Relationships Find a locally recognizable, respected Hispanic spokesperson (from local political, religious or civic groups, TV stations, sport teams, etc.) to use in your outreach materials or at events. Recruit high school students as outreach volunteers. See if the local high school has a social service requirement or service club. High school volunteers provide valuable information to uninsured adolescents and help educate the next generation of parents about health coverage and publicly-sponsored programs. Build relationships with local community and free health centers, hospitals and health departments. These potential partners can help distribute information or may provide you with a good location where you can periodically or permanently set up an enrollment station. You can also help train staff members of these organizations to enroll children they know. Never underestimate the importance and value of home visits, especially pre-arranged ones. Prior to the visit, make sure that those whom you are visiting are comfortable with your being there. Offer other meeting places as options. Find local literacy/tutoring/esl programs and ask them to pass out your materials to their families. Build relationships with local radio talk shows, especially Latino-focused programs. Sponsor a radio show. Make allies with the staff of your local Medicaid/Welfare office. Developing relationships usually makes future interactions easier. Listen to their problems and concerns and recognize the difficulties of their jobs. Invite them to learn more about outreach, and demonstrate the enrollment process from the family s point of view. (Remember that good refreshments make any meeting more enjoyable.) Ask the office supervisor to recognize and reinforce positive interactions with staff and families. Some coalitions have helped achieve supervisory systems at Medicaid offices that offer rewards for increased enrollment. See if your state Department of Health will send you referrals from people who come to apply for WIC or who come for immunizations at public clinics. After you ve established relationships with the government organizations, use agencies such as the Income Support Division or the INS as partners. Enlist your local elected officials to host a town hall type meeting for the community to learn more about health benefits and public charge. Collaborate with local INS officials on a presentation. Establish clear ground rules with the INS about who will be attending, what type of questions to expect, and the fact that the meeting is on safe ground, meaning that the attendees cannot be questioned or targeted based on their participation. Take an informal poll of your community members to be sure they are comfortable with the idea of a town hall meeting with the INS. A presentation like this is a very serious endeavor, so take precautions to make sure your community s interests will be represented and served. After you have ironed out 3

12 the presentation ground rules, decide on a case-by-case basis if local media should be asked to publicize and cover the event. Work With Businesses For outreach events use a national business with a proven track record as a responsive partner, such as Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target or McDonald s. Their locations are great for events plus you can partner with businesses to include information on shopping bags, tray liners and coupons. Locate a Hispanic Business Association or Latino Chamber of Commerce in your area and ask to present to their members. Work to gain partners, financial and in-kind support and/or the opportunity to present to their employees. Investigate mobile health/dental units and build a partnership to provide outreach and services to hard-to-reach families. Target businesses with low-wage employees for time at lunch, break or on the clock to present information to employees. Even if the employer offers family health coverage, many workers cannot afford it. Employers to target include: Construction firms Hospitals Home health and long-term care services Housekeeping/janitorial businesses Laundry/linen/dry cleaning services/grocery stores Auto and home repair businesses Textile mills/factories Farms Processing plants Child care providers Beauty salons Bodegas (neighborhood grocery stores) Schools Chain and department stores Hotels Restaurants Work with local notarios and bodegas (neighborhood stores). Notarios are a trusted source for information and help people with wiring money to relatives in other countries, immigration and other legal issues. Find a local low-income legal assistance program, preferably one with immigration expertise. Ask them to disseminate information, sponsor the printing or translation of brochures and other outreach materials, or publish an article in a state or local Bar Association, chapter or journal or other Bar publication. 4

13 Make Outreach Fun Get the whole neighborhood involved. Set up a block party potluck for the neighborhood. On the invitations or flyers, let people know they can apply for children s health coverage at the party and explain what documentation to bring. Make sure to have information about the program and eligibility data. Set up a private space if you want to enroll people right there; if not, be sure to make appointments for follow-up. Consider a theme. For example: El Día de los Muertos (Halloween) party, October 31st Easter egg hunt - consult a local church for date Independence Day (Mexican or American) bicycle-decorating contest, September 16 and July 4, respectively El Día de los Niños (Children s Day) party, April 30th Hold a health fair at your local school. Make sure that all the teachers, the school nurse and the principal are aware and supportive of the event. All employees can help publicize and promote the fair by distributing flyers to students and staff members. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk with the following individuals about enrolling their own children: Food service workers Teachers/ Teacher Aides Janitors Administrative staff Bus drivers Crossing guards Parent volunteers Organize health care tupperware parties at people s houses or apartment buildings. Get together with a small group of women to talk about things that are important to them, including the health of their children. Ask satisfied enrollees to talk with their friends about the value of the program. Word of mouth is a vital tool in spreading your message. Work with local radio stations to set up DJ charity events a live, on-location broadcast from an outreach or enrollment site. Get airtime to talk about how easy it is to get low-cost or free health insurance for your children and what documentation people should bring. Refer to the Messages that Resonate to convey that this is a benefit that the children of all working people need and deserve. Offer to make outreach presentations to Latino social and athletic clubs. 5

14 BRIGHT IDEAS Move the Mountain An important thing to keep in mind is collaboration. Try to involve as many different types of organizations as you think fit for a great event schools, mobile medical units, employment help, clothing drives, etc. The more reasons you can provide a family to come to your event, the better your chances of getting people to come. Get a reputation. Set up a table for enrollment at places families frequent on the weekends and evenings. Show up every week, same place, same time and sign up families at: Supermarkets Drug stores Laundromats Libraries Shopping malls Community centers and playgrounds Children s sporting events and league (adult) soccer games Flea markets and thrift stores Video rental stores Develop a one-minute interview card. It s all the basic information you need to schedule a home or office visit, printed on one card. Make sure all your staff and volunteers carry copies. When arranging visits, offer families options be flexible and suggest meeting them at a library, at their house, at their job or wherever it s convenient for them. Give referral cards on SCHIP/Medicaid to places families go to regularly like: Head Start programs WIC programs Child care centers Community centers Free clinics/community health centers Emergency rooms Check-cashing centers Form a checklist. Remember to bring the following: Applications and guidelines Posters Brochures Newsletters Business cards Calculator Portable copier Pens & pencils 6

15 Most importantly bring something that will attract children perhaps a volunteer painting faces, jellybeans in a jar, stickers, Band-Aids. One outreach specialist even used a frog in a jar! Information: Useful, Friendly or Something You Can t Let Go Of Design and print large envelopes (9 x 12 ) for parents to collect all of their needed enrollment materials. Create a checklist on the outside listing the documents your state requires. It s also a great filing system for busy families. Develop a referral card or bookmark using a cultural or religious icon on one side if the funding for such a card is not provided by government. Many people hold on to cards with depictions of religious icons like La Virgen de Guadalupe or a local patron saint. Also consider adding a brief prayer or blessing for the health and well-being of the child. Create flyers for your program with tear-off slips containing contact phone numbers. Use photos of your own volunteers in your materials. It s great to have a face the community recognizes. Attract Attention! Hold a lottery and raffle off a prize at your booth at a health fair. Make people fill out a form with complete information to enter the raffle. One coalition gave away a personal computer at a local school and got thousands of people to fill out applications. (Check with your state on any laws or rules regarding raffles.) Take free, instant photos of children and make children s fingerprint ID cards as a hook to get parents to come to your booth at events. Attract children with give-a-ways when their parents come to your booth to fill out an application. Bring a pet or other creature to your booth to encourage children s visits. Produce buttons or badges that have instant photos or fun logos and creative designs imprinted on them for children and teenagers. Buttons are easy to take away and several coalitions find them to be an effective way of drawing the attention of children, teenagers, and their parents. If your materials are available in Spanish, then you should write available in Spanish in Spanish - ofrecen en Español - on English applications. 7

16 Recruiting, Training and Retaining Promotoras Who are Promotoras? Promotoras or promotors are women or men who are lay health educators and are trusted members of your community. Many public health efforts, including the drive to increase enrollment in children s health coverage programs, have found promotoras essential to effective outreach. Promotoras speak the language and understand the culture of your community. They affirm values held dear while educating community members on vital issues of public health, like the availability and value of health coverage for children. They become trusted resources in the community and are welcomed into homes and eagerly greeted at community functions. They gain the respect and collaboration of immigrants and those who have traditionally been medically under-served and may be uncomfortable tapping into government sponsored programs. How to Recruit Promotoras If your organization works on a variety of health issues, like prenatal care, immunization or breast cancer screening, developing a promotora program is a good move. The more promotoras know about different health issues, the more valuable they are to the community. If your organization is dedicated solely to expanding health coverage for children, you may want to see if your local department of public health or another health-related coalition has a promotora program. Churches, social and civic clubs, community centers and AmeriCorps and RSVP programs, WIC, HUD Community Builders are all good sources of volunteers and have good reputations. Ask clergy, community leaders and program managers to help identify individuals who: Are involved in and committed to community projects Show leadership skills or potential Could have an interest in health promotion Spread the net. Arrange times for phone calls or a group presentation in order to explain the role of promotoras and their importance to the community. If candidates come forward, arrange times for face-to-face interviews. Set clear goals. In most instances promotoras conduct home visits and establish themselves at an outpost in the community this could be Thursday nights at the laundromat or Sunday mornings in the church entrance hall. The community needs convenient access to promotoras, so nontraditional working hours should be expected. Promotoras truly work from the heart. Many promotoras are volunteers but some are offered stipends or compensation. If you have difficulty recruiting promotoras, paying them or offering a cash incentive for each completed application may be options to explore. 8

17 Training Promotoras Promotoras are health educators who need thorough training. A good resource for training is the Prenatal Care Network Curriculum s Reaching Out. Copies can be ordered for $20 from: Attn: Anna Levy New Mexico Prenatal Care Network UNM Health Science Medical Building # 5, Room 126 Albuquerque, NM The training you provide promotoras makes them marketable. You will want to encourage their growth, instill a thirst for knowledge and nurture creativity. Consider enhancing the training you use with extras like peer-to-peer training, public speaking lessons, or English as a second language classes. Here is a helpful way to outline the duties of a promotor(a): The Promotor(a) Principles of Practice: Proactive Respectful of the client Outreach focused Member of the community Observant of client needs Teachers Organized for effectiveness Resourceful Achiever for and with the community Copyright Pending. Dan Reyna Director of the New Mexico Border Health Offices, Las Cruces, NM Retaining Promotoras Like any employee or volunteer, promotoras need to be listened to on a regular basis. Their achievements should be recognized and appreciated. Be sure to meet with your promotoras individually and as a group. Group meetings can stimulate creativity and create camaraderie, while individual meetings give people a chance to voice very personal concerns. Be respectful of their insight it is an invaluable contribution to your efforts. Recognize their accomplishments. This can be as simple as writing individual thank you notes or giving certificates. You can also ask community and business leaders for their help. A recognition breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce or the Women s Club, a Town Council resolution of appreciation, or gift certificates for dinner and a night at the movies can say thank you in tangible and memorable ways. 9

18 Tips on Approaching and Working with Community Organizations To build a core of devoted volunteers, expand beyond your own coalition. Contact groups and organizations that work with the Hispanic/Latino community and potentially eligible families. List the possible organizations to contact in your community: Schools and PTA s Colleges and universities Churches Employers Unions Children s advocacy organizations Local health departments, hospitals, free community health centers and HMOs Child care centers Civic organizations/social clubs Knights of Columbus Local United Way organizations Local La Raza chapters League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Parents without Partners/support groups The Department of Recreation, Education, and other departments in the town or city that work with parents and children When approaching organizations, start by explaining the urgency of covering children in your community. Bring an outline of your goals and priorities and specifics on how the organization can help, such as: Recruit volunteers/promotoras Counsel families on the availability of the program Facilitate presentations with in-house equipment and technology Distribute flyers, brochures and door hangers Include information in their publications Post flyers in their community Include time for your coalition on the agenda Allow for a dialogue invite an organization to participate in a way that works for them. Remember to be flexible. You may go into a meeting with one idea, and leave with a different but equally important one. Organize meetings for volunteers from numerous organizations. Bring your volunteers together to hear what is going on across the community. Show them how each organization s efforts fit together and contribute to the big picture. Give recognition to exemplary volunteers. Create awards for outstanding work and announce the recipients at volunteer meetings. (See sample certificate) 10

19 Target religious congregations. They are key partners for outreach activities. Try to garner support from and build a network of various congregations throughout your community. Schedule a meeting with your local faith-based organization, parish or congregation s pastor or church council and share information about your state s SCHIP and Medicaid program Use church events as times to reach out to other congregation members Insert flyers or an article (see sample drop-in) into Sunday s church bulletin Offer to speak at the end of the service for just a few minutes Participate in the Spanish language Mass Participate in a church health fair Find a local branch of Catholic Charities and make them partners Set up a table or booth at the church s annual Blessing of the Animals event (first Saturday in October) Ask your pastor to include children s health coverage in a sermon, and prepare a table in the all-purpose room, narthex or space behind the sanctuary, where families can go for more information after the service Work with your local school district or state or local Medicaid/SCHIP agency to partner with local school lunch programs. State Education Agencies, school districts and local schools are being encouraged to become involved in a variety of outreach activities to help identify and enroll children who are eligible for health insurance coverage under SCHIP and Medicaid programs. In general, children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals are likely to qualify for the state s Medicaid or SCHIP-funded separate program. Therefore, using the School Lunch Program application process to conduct outreach is a promising avenue for school involvement. When families request information on health coverage via school lunch program, timely follow-up is essential for this could be the family s only request for information. Strategies for facilitating enrollment of children in Medicaid and SCHIP-funded separate programs may include: Including information about SCHIP and Medicaid with school lunch applications sent home to students families Providing families with SCHIP/Medicaid application and information about obtaining application assistance when they are told that their children are eligible for free or reducedprice school meals Transferring information(such as name, address, income data) from the school lunch application to the SCHIP or Medicaid agency so the agency can send the family an application for health coverage or use the information to make an eligibility determination; family consent is needed for such an information transfer Health care providers are valuable working partners. SCHIP and Medicaid may be able to give providers some benefits too. Health coverage for children can reduce uncompensated care levels through reduction of uninsured patients (if your state s reimbursement rates and payment time for claims have improved, emphasize it). Ask providers to: Post health coverage flyers in waiting room Give staff a health coverage contact list Allow you to do sensitivity training, training on claims coding and submission procedures, and training in applications techniques Continuously run health coverage promotional video in waiting areas 11

20 Look at the National Hispanic Medical Association s web site ( for updates on their activities. Influence grandparents and you influence the family. Make presentations at senior centers. Post flyers in places where community elders gather like American Legion halls, bingo parlors, ballroom or square dancing studios. Make a pitch for health coverage on the local radio program that older people adore. Celebrate Grandparents Day (the Sunday after Labor Day); send information to known grandparents in the community. Committed students make valuable volunteers. High school and college students can do leg and brain work and conduct outreach to adolescents. 12

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