UC Davis Children’s Hospital this week launches a new screening to support families experiencing social and economic stressors amid COVID-19.
“This pandemic adds tremendous stress to parents – financial strain, decreased outlets for social interaction and childcare responsibilities – without a break. This is important for the well-being of all children. We also worry that without proper support for parents and families. Some children may be at higher risk for abuse,” said UC Davis Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Jihey Yuk.
Yuk pilots this program at the Sacramento County Health Center, with mentorship from Erik Fernandez y Garcia, an associate professor for pediatrics at UC Davis Health. They plan to refine the screening through quality improvement techniques and expand its use to all pediatric training clinics staffed by the UC Davis Division of General Pediatrics.
Families that are identified with needs by the screening receive information and resources from local and community-based partners providing food distribution, domestic violence outreach, crisis hotlines, parenting hotlines, crisis childcare nurseries and substance use cessation support.
“We will screen all pediatric families, seen in-person or via telehealth. Our hope is that, by screening and fostering these discussions, we can help mitigate stressors and uncover opportunities to support families that might otherwise go unnoticed,” Yuk said.