Reaching Families through Faith-Based Organizations

December 19, 2014

People often turn to faith-based organizations and places where they worship, such as churches, synagogues and mosques for trusted information and to get help with life's everyday challenges. Working with such organizations can be a great way to let families know about the availability of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and how to enroll.

Campaign in Action

California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI) has successfully engaged faith-based organizations to help enroll families in health coverage. CCHI works with a local coalition of community groups and neighborhood schools to reach families in the seven counties with the highest percentage of uninsured children in California, many of whom are Latino.

CCHI partners with Community Health Initiative of Kern County and El Concilio Council for the Spanish Speaking to host events with local churches and faith leaders that educate Latino families about Medicaid and CHIP. Faith leaders promote these educational sessions by placing announcements in church bulletins, hanging outdoor banners to advertise events and reminding parishioners from the pulpit to take part in sessions. To facilitate attendance, the sessions are often held right after services. During the educational sessions, families ask questions, fill out pre-screening forms and set up future appointments with enrollment counselors. Over a span of three months, the coalition conducted 12 educational sessions at faith-based locations. As a result of these events, more than 350 applications were completed. The partners continue to conduct faith-based outreach, including the educational sessions, as a component of their year-round programs.

Outreach Tip

Introduce faith groups in your community to the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign by sharing the TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs), available in English and Spanish. Encourage groups to use the radio PSA as their telephone on-hold message, feature the TV PSA at events or share the YouTube link of the 90-second web PSA. Download Campaign palmcards and posters to include in church bulletins, to hang on community bulletin boards or to distribute to families with religious school mailings. Most campaign materials can also be customized for free.

Looking for more ways to engage faith-based organizations in your community? Download our faith community outreach tip sheet featuring additional ideas.

Stay Connected With the National Campaign – In 3 Easy Steps

  • Follow the Campaign on Twitter. Don't forget to re-tweet or share our messages with your network or use our #Enroll365 hashtag in your posts.
  • Share our materials widely. We have more than 50 National Campaign resources available, including translated print materials, to use in outreach and enrollment efforts.
  • Contact us to get more involved with the National Campaign at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov or 1-855-313-KIDS (5437).

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