The Family Support Assessment Clinic
When a child is facing a transition, a trauma or anything in between that challenges coping skills, clinicians can turn to the Family Support Assessment Clinic. The clinic provides support in the following instances:
- At the time of a difficult diagnosis of a family member
- When the family is facing a change that affects or disrupts the child
- When an infant is sent to the NICU
- When a child is struggling to adjust to a difficult change
- When a child is affected negatively by a parent or sibling illness or disorder
In each of these cases, families are understandably overwhelmed. Providing the child’s primary caregiver with developmentally appropriate information will serve the child in two ways:
- The parent will be more prepared to cope with the stressor
- The parent will have increased capacity to gain support from extended family, the community, the child’s school, etc., which will benefit the child and ameliorate the isolation, a hallmark of traumatic loss.
The Family Support Assessment Clinic will work collaboratively with the pediatrician to amplify his/her effectiveness, in particular, to:
- Help the parent more fully understand what this means to the child
- Recognize symptoms of the stressor
- “Find the words” and use language more effectively
- Access different help when it’s required
The clinic will be staffed by a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and a mental health clinician. Referring providers are welcome to attend the visit if a team approach would be supportive.
Appointments are made only by referral from the child’s primary care provider.