Screening For Social Needs: What Do Parents Think?

Screening For Social Needs: What Do Parents Think?

Taking a child to the pediatrician is a rite of passage for parents. Most young children in the United States have up to 11 well-child visits in their first two years. Certain parts of the pediatric check-up are so ubiquitous as to be predictable even to new parents. Fill out medical forms? Check. Talk about vaccines? Check. Inspect the child’s ears? Check.
 
But there are some nonmedical factors, including where children live, that can influence their health more than any medical intervention does. As a result, pediatricians and their teams are beginning to screen their young patients for social needs such as food insecurity or inadequate housing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors screen families for “social determinants of health” and connect them to community resources as a part of standard care.
 
Foundations have been playing a role in developing these screening and referral programs. United Hospital Fund teamed up with the Altman Foundation and the New York Community Trust, and later the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation, to create Partnerships for Early Childhood Development (PECD). This initiative provides grants to eight hospital-based pediatric clinics and their community partners to adopt screening and referral programs for social needs. The partnerships are spread throughout the city and focus on a broad range of issues—BronxCare paired with Claremont Neighborhood Center, and Mount Sinai Pediatrics with New York Common Pantry, to name a few.
 
 
Source: Health Affairs blog

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