What Healthcare Providers Can Do
As a provider, you are in a unique and esteemed position to provide education and guidance to the parents you see in your practice.
You know their health history, and in some cases, you know about their family history, too. You may also be one of the first people to know when something doesn’t seem right. Yours is a trusted role. As primary care providers, pediatricians and dentists, you address your patients’ immediate health needs and offer guidance—often under circumstances when they are feeling their most vulnerable because of health concerns for themselves or their children.
Parenting is hard. Encourage patients to ask for help when they need it from those they trust—prompt them to consider who they can talk to and rely on when they need help.
In addition to assessing physical well-being, you may also assist families in addressing concerns related to mental well-being. You can help families and children by offering resources and guidance and by incorporating screenings that will help you to identify potential areas of concern. Here are a few options:
You are considered a trusted source of knowledge on the health and well-being of children and many of your patients respect that knowledge. If a patient appears to be struggling with the demands of parenting and other life stressors, share your knowledge and point them toward helpful resources.
There are many ways that you can get involved in movements that advocate for children and families experiencing domestic violence and child abuse or neglect. Policies impact every aspect of our lives and you can make a difference.
Sometimes, despite other efforts, the most appropriate action when attempting to protect a child and make sure a family is receiving the services they need is to report suspected neglect or abuse to Child Protective Services (CPS). Here are some helpful tips: