Introduction: Pediatric guidelines emphasize the importance for healthcare providers to view children in the context of family and community, and promote community resources at visits. In 2006, a Family Help Desk (FHD) was established in an urban academic-based clinic in Baltimore, MD to assist healthcare providers in educating families about available community-based resources.
Methods: A longitudinal cohort pilot study was conducted during a 6-week period in 2007 to evaluate the impact of the FHD in connecting at-risk families to community resources.
Results: Overall, 6% of parents (n=59) who brought their child for a scheduled clinic visit accessed the FHD. Parents had a mean of 1.7 social needs, including after-school programs and childcare (29%), employment (13%), housing (12%), and food (11%). Most parents who utilized the FHD (64%) contacted a community resource or service within 6 months of their clinic visit. Nineteen parents (32%) who utilized the FHD enrolled in community programs.
Conclusion: A clinic-based multi-disciplinary model can empower families to connect with community-based resources for basic social needs.
Practice implications: The Family Help Desk model has great potential for addressing family psychosocial needs, and educating families about community resources within the context of pediatric primary care.
Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.