A whole front-line team

Community social pediatrics is a holistic approach to health based on different disciplines working together, sharing information, expertise and research and implementing solutions, in close collaboration with the child and their family. Follow-up and support will continue throughout the child’s life, for their well-being and overall health. As such, professionals and specialists work in tandem to provide a range of integrated and personalized care and services. Their goal is for every child to develop to their extraordinary full potential.

Who does what?

Pediatrician

Psychosocial professional

Lawyer-Mediator

Art therapist and music therapist

Resource teacher, Speech therapist

Other specialized professionals

Educators

Volunteers

Grands Amis

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Pediatrician

Roles

The social pediatrician or family physician specializing in social pediatrics acts as a conductor on the team caring for the child, whose difficult living conditions may be causing physical, mental or emotional pain. Working with a psychosocial professional and the child, they establish a diagnosis and an action plan.

« We build a bond of trust and friendship with the child and their family; the child is listened to, respected and never judged. Every single day, I’m amazed at the great strength of this child who opens up their heart to me, so that I can help them even more. »

- Dr. Gaëlle Vekemans, Social Pediatrician, Assistant Clinical Director

Psychosocial professional

Roles

The psychosocial professional, often a social worker, plays a pivotal role by conducting the child’s psychosocial assessment to complement the medical assessment. This person coordinates access to a range of adapted and integrated care and services to implement the action plan based on the clinical assessment.

Psychosocial and psychoeducational services: Psychosocial and psychoeducational support and life trajectories

« It is a privilege to work with children and their families for the long term. They share their lives, their trials with us, and we can see their evolution. It is a real accomplishment to build strong bonds with them. »

- Sabrina Purcell Lalonde, La ruelle d'Hochelaga social worker

Lawyer-Mediator

Roles

The lawyer-mediator is trained to recognize when certain rights are not being respected, to find concrete solutions to legal problems affecting the child’s health and to facilitate access to justice as needed. This person ensures that the child is meaningfully involved in the process so that they understand their rights and become an agent of change.

Legal services: The Child’s Circle, legal consultations, and family and civil mediation.

« My work makes children’s voices heard and I make sure they are respected. I learn a lot from them, and that brings me back to the authentic values of humanity. One day, a child said to me: ‘It’s cool that you don’t always have to be a lawyer—you’re like our friend.’ He saw the human in me and in his protective circle. »

- Malika Saher, Lawyer-Mediator at Fondation Dr Julien

Art therapist and music therapist

Roles

In a safe, therapeutic environment, art and music therapists provide children with other ways to communicate, through either music or artistic creation. This allows them to express themselves freely, manage their emotions, develop confidence and, in the case of playing music with others, be part of a group and socialize through collective creation.

These are part of the mind-body therapy services.

« In social pediatrics, music is used in a therapeutic setting to help young people deal with emotions and escape their inner anxieties. Never underestimate the power that music can have in a child’s life. »

- Evie Han, Music Therapist, Garage à musique

Resource teacher, Speech therapist

Roles

Some children experience major difficulties at school due to learning disabilities, language disorders, dyslexia or other conditions. Professionals such as resource teachers, speech therapists and special education tutors develop tutoring and assistance programs and support these young people between the ages of 5 and 17, in collaboration with the school.

« I’m filled with admiration when a child is able to communicate with their friend, be understood or offer help. When a young person uses communication to interact, it makes me very proud because I see that they’ve succeeded. It’s very rewarding to know that I’ve contributed to that. »

- Stéphanie Jobin, Speech Therapist.

Other specialized professionals

Roles

Beyond the child’s immediate circle, the assistance of some specialized services and professionals may be required to address specific issues in a more targeted way. They contribute constructively to the child’s care and development and work in collaboration with the clinical team. Where necessary, communication channels are established with hospitals, social services or other resources.

Specialized services: child psychiatry, neuropsychology, psychology

« My work is very fulfilling because it gives me a lot of scope and allows me to help children 100%. We are more than educators; our mission is to rehabilitate, support and provide specialized follow-up care to children with special needs. »

- Alexandra Hartman-Maltais, Special Educator at Garage à musique

Educators

Roles

Educators have an important role to play. Through their close relationship with the children, they can support them, assess them and ensure that the clinical objectives are met. They are there to intervene if the child goes off track and can play a role in screening.

Educational services: Épic, Camp St-Bernard, School Access Centre (CDN)

« My job is to help children gain confidence in themselves. We’re like bridges; we help them get from one side to the other. We’re part of their daily lives and, through activities, we help them develop to their full potential and just be kids. »

- Antoine Charf, Educator at Côte-des-Neiges Centre

Volunteers

Roles

Volunteers are valuable allies because they are part of the community of each child’s protective circle. They play a number of roles as accompanying persons for children during activities or events, from reception to administrative support. They can provide a safe environment and social support for the children by setting a positive example and helping them build self-esteem.

« I wanted to give back by volunteering with young people. Becoming Isaac’s Grand Ami has enabled me to make a difference because I’m an extra resource in his life. Over time, we’ve become closer and built up trust in our relationship. It’s a great feeling!” »

- Jacques L’Ecuyer, Isaac’s Grand Ami

Grands Amis

Roles

This structured volunteer program was born out of a desire to help young people in difficult situations on a more personal level. Based on mentoring, matches are made based on the interests and values of each child and Grand Ami. The goal is to enable the child to develop a healthy relationship with an adult other than a parent, improve their social skills and discover themselves and the world around them.

Mentoring and community services

« The advantage of being a Grande Amie is having a special relationship with a child, to be able to pass on our passions, our ideas, and plant seeds without knowing what’s going to grow. In life, you have to choose your priorities, take the time to help those around you and make a difference for the children who really need it. »

- Audrey Hébert with Gabrielle.

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