Care Coordination Curriculum

Care Mapping

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A Tool to Support Authentic Family-Professional Partnership and Care Coordination

Families raising children with special needs have long acted as the primary care coordinators for their children, connecting the dots between home, health care, school and the community.

Acting as “air traffic control” between health care providers, home care workers, child and respite care, teachers, specialists and community agencies can add considerable stress and time to parenting, cause families to miss work or work less, strain relationships or cause needs to go unmet.

Professionals can help relieve some of this stress and help families be more effective by partnering with them to coordinate and plan care. We have developed a tool, the care map, to assist families and the professionals they partner with.  

Although it was initially created for families raising children with special needs, it can also be used for anyone of any age or level of needs to make partnering with professionals more effective. 

What is care mapping?

Care mapping is a process which guides and supports the ability of families and care professionals to work together to achieve the best possible health outcomes.  

In its most developed form, care mapping is a family-driven, person-centered process which highlights a family’s strengths and communicates both the big picture and the small details of all of the resources needed to support a child and their family.

It provides a comprehensive snapshot of a family’s needs, and enables the care team to appreciate how each of these aspects relates to each other. 

Guides - Research

Care Mapping: How-To Guides for Families and Professionals

We have created two guides for families and professionals to answer some frequently questions we have been asked about creating and using care maps.

Download Care Mapping: A How-To Guide for Families

Download Care Mapping: A Guide for Professionals Supporting Families

Care Mapping research

Antonelli R and Lind C. “Care Mapping: An Innovative Tool and Process to Support Family-Centered, Comprehensive Care Coordination.” Poster session presented at the annual Primary Care Innovation Conference of the Harvard Medical School Primary Care Center, Boston, MA. October, 2012. 

In the media

Huffington Post

January 18, 2013

Gabe’s Care Map: Cristin Lind, Mom, Illustrates What It Takes To Raise One Boy With Special Needs

Huffington Post Live
January 25, 2013

Gabe’s Care Map

About Us

Cristin LindCristin Lind first created a care map as a way to depict her child’s complex care needs.

A passionate advocate for children and families, she serves in a variety of roles that support authentic family-professional partnership as a means to improving health and health care for children.

She writes about her experience at, on Twitter @DurgasToolbox and on Facebook (\DurgasToolbox). 




Richard Antonelli MD MSRichard Antonelli, MD, MS, has extensive experience working at the national level and in many states in re-designing systems of health care delivery. Efforts to date have informed the evolution of care coordination functions and activities.  

In conjunction with families, and with professional colleagues from nursing and social work, a framework and potential measures for comprehensive, multi-disciplinary care coordination was developed, enabling linkages between families, youth, primary care providers, subspecialists, and community-based organizations.

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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