The well-child visit (from birth to age three), presents a nearly universal access point for pediatricians and parents to partner in promoting and supporting young children’s social and emotional well-being and nurturing parent-child relationships. Pediatrics Supporting Parents (PSP) seeks to transform pediatric well-child visits to strengthen early relational health and create lasting change that helps children succeed. By setting a universal goal to support children’s healthy social and emotional development and nurturing relationships, and using strategies that center on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families experiencing the impacts of systemic racism and community disinvestments, which manifest as health inequities, we will transform care for all families.
Pediatrics Supporting Parents aims to go beyond the status quo and push the boundaries of what is possible during the pediatric well-child visit to ensure all families, especially those experiencing the impacts of historical and institutional racism, have access to proven practices and resources to create lasting change that will help all children succeed.
We see a unique opportunity to transform the lives of children and families:
The well-child visit is a non-stigmatizing and universal access point with the potential to improve health outcomes from an early age (0-3) into adulthood.
Early relationships likely account for 25-50% of population-level variability in critical child development outcomes.
Stress and the effects of poverty and racism can impede children’s healthy development, but strong parent-child relationships act as buffers enabling children to respond adaptively to adversity and thrive.
The global pandemic is forcing children's healthcare systems to adapt and transform, creating a window for innovation and a receptivity to elevating the importance of parent-child relationships and social and emotional development.
Consider co-investing with us!
Invest in efforts that have the potential to catalyze universal practice change in pediatric well-child visits, an aspiration beyond any individual funder
Support innovative efforts to strengthen the field as a whole, investing in gaps and ripe opportunities that complement and advance evidence-based programs
Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of capital available to the field by coordinating existing resources and growing available funding
Strengthen relationships with peer funders, both national and local, improving funder coordination and alignment
Learn together about ways to continuously evolve philanthropic grantmaking approaches (e.g., centering communities and beneficiaries)
Leveraging a Universal Access Point
With the vast majority of children and their parents attending some or all of the 12 pediatric well-child appointments in the child's first three years, these visits serve as an ideal touchpoint for pediatricians to partner with children and their families and provide them with tools and supports that promote healthy social and emotional development.
Elevating the Well-Visit Moment
Some pediatric practices have already introduced proven methods into the well-child visit to assess children's social and emotional well-being, but our goal is to evolve these visits to include resources and supports that encourage healthy social and emotional development for all families, ensuring each family is supported no matter where they go for care.
Driving Measurable Outcomes
Using the well-child visit to provide tools and resources that can further develop and nurture social and emotional well-being is good medicine. Caring for children and their families in ways that are meaningful and valuable to building a strong parent-child relationship will set children up for long-term success in school, work, and relationships and lead to healthier lives.
Partnering with Families and Communities
We honor the centrality of family in child well-being. Families are the experts on their children, and we are committed to co-creating solutions with families throughout all aspects of this work.
Parents know they play a critical role in supporting their children’s social and emotional health, and the well-child visit provides an opportunity for pediatricians and parents to partner and build the foundation of nurturing relationships that promote healthy development.
When parent and family voices are centered, when cultural values are recognized, and when local contexts and strategies are elevated and acknowledged, we believe communities will be able to generate the change necessary to integrate social and emotional development and early relational health practices into well-child visits and sustain that change beyond PSP.
Centering on Racial Health
To achieve true and equitable population-level change, PSP is following a targeted universalism approach that centers on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families experiencing the impacts of systemic racism and community disinvestment, which manifest as health inequities. By setting a universal goal to support all children’s healthy social and emotional development and nurturing relationships, but using strategies that target specific populations, these efforts will transform care for all families.
Structural forces play a critical role in shaping families’ access to and the experience of health care, as well as their capacity to develop nurturing relationships with their children. We focus on the key systemic barriers, as well as social determinants of health, while ensuring that our investments do not exacerbate those inequities.
WHY THE WELL-CHILD VISIT?
Social and emotional development is a critical component of a child’s growth and plays an important role in their early school success and positive life outcomes. Pediatrics Supporting Parents focuses on the opportunity that pediatric well-child visits present for pediatricians and parents to partner in valuable ways—beyond just a few moments in the physician’s office—to help promote and support social and emotional development in our children.
Pediatric practices sit at a unique intersection between families and other parent-facing sectors in the community. The well-child visit is in many cases the primary touchpoint for reaching children and their parents during the first three years of life, and because it is universal, it carries no stigma. These well visits have the ability to improve health outcomes from an early age into adulthood. Pediatrics Supporting Parents aims to push the boundaries of what is possible during the pediatric well-child visit to ensure all children have access to the supports and resources needed to create lasting change that will help them succeed.
Pediatrics Supporting Parents is working to address key structural barriers affecting young children's health with concrete tools and guidance while also making the case for system-wide transformation of the well-child visit. Structural barriers such as limited visit time, insufficient provider reimbursement, incompatible electronic medical records, technology inefficiencies, lack of measures to assess progress, and insufficient provider training make it challenging to embrace a focus on social and emotional development and early relational health.
LIFTING UP CATALYTIC PRACTICES
During the first three years, Pediatrics Supporting Parents and its partners extracted a set of 14 common practices for promoting social and emotional development from evidence-based programs. The 14 common practices now serve as the change we hope to see in standard of care.
CREATING THE CONDITIONS
Rather that view structural barriers as impediments to change, we view our work as supporting the conditions that enable pediatric transformation to take hold. For example, the initiative prioritized reimbursement and leveraging public financing by unlocking the funding potential of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through the creation of a Blueprint and multi-state National Medicaid Workgroup. A complementary Guide to leveraging opportunities between Title V and Medicaid was developed to support state-level planning, action, and innovation to promote social and emotional development.
THE PATH FORWARD
Since its inception, Pediatrics Supporting Parents has coupled its investments with deep and ongoing field engagement. Through a dedicated process of elevating family voice and listening to the field, the initiative is building on the progress it made during its first three years and is now moving ahead with a multi-year commitment toward spreading the 14 common practices through investments in:
Community-level “proof points” with five communities across four states that are integrating best practices to transform pediatric well-care and support children's social and emotional development, and promoting nurturing relationships; and
National- and state-level enabling conditions needed to ensure these practices can successfully be integrated (e.g. Medicaid reimbursement, technology, measurement, etc.).
We believe this structure will support bi-directional learning where insights from the community-level work inform investments at the state and national level, and the policy investments at the national and state levels will facilitate change at the community level. To successfully achieve this goal, Pediatrics Supporting Parents will be implementing a collaborative learning community model in which parents, pediatricians, community leaders, and funders co-create the initiative's strategic priorities across the various investment levels.
Our five community partners include:
Durham Collaborative Network for Early Relational Health | Durham County, NC
Early Childhood Alliance Onondaga | Onondaga County, NY
First Year Families, Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Pediatrics Northwest | Pierce County, WA
LIFT / ACEs LA Medical Financial Partnership and Network of Care | Los Angeles, CA
UCSF - Ready! Resilient! Rising! Network (R3! Network) | Alameda and San Francisco Counties, CA
WHO WE ARE
Pediatrics Supporting Parents' philanthropic partners came together in March of 2017 with an ambitious goal to move beyond incremental approaches to supporting young children’s development, and instead collectively invest in big ideas with significant impacts.
Today, eight collaborative funding members have committed to the initiative. As a group, we approach the work of co-creation with humility, a learning mindset, trust, and a unified voice. We are dedicated to building relationships and breaking silos, and aim to be adaptive over time while staying focused the initiative's ultimate goal of supporting children's social and emotional development and nurturing parent-child relationships.
We are seeking to engage national, local, and regional funders with complementary priorities to align funding and support specific investments at the national or community levels. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us!
Pediatrics Supporting Parents uses a donor advised fund to pool resources and grant to partner organizations. The initiative works in close partnership with a number of organizations to advance the initiative's north star of promoting and supporting children’s social and emotional development and fostering early relational health.