What if pediatric care could be transformed to actively partner with parents to better support children’s healthy social and emotional development, too?

That is the question that drives the Pediatrics Supporting Parents national funder collaborative.

About Pediatrics Supporting Parents

To date, the Pediatrics Supporting Parents (PSP) collaborative includes six national funders (the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Einhorn Collaborative, Overdeck Family Foundation, Perigee Fund, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Each funder has committed a total of $13.25 million over five years to invest in aligning clinical practice with a mounting body of evidence that demonstrates the benefits of leveraging pediatric well-care to support improved social and emotional outcomes in young children and to strengthen parent–child relationships by partnering with providers and parents.

The Big Picture

The well-child visit (from birth to age three), presents a nearly universal access point for pediatricians and parents to partner to promote and support young children’s healthy social and emotional development and nurturing parent-child relationships. Social and emotional development and nurturing relationships are critical components of the healthy development needed for early school success and positive life outcomes. By reimagining pediatric well-child visits to include proven, scalable resources that empower and guide parents – and provide them with additional support when needed – we aim to strengthen the parent-child bond and create lasting change that helps children succeed.

The Help Me Grow National Center’s Role

Phase 1

The PSP funder collaborative engaged the HMG National Center to explore the potential utility and benefit of an integrated modular technological platform in the well-child visit setting that merges several innovative tools: the Survey of Well-Being of Young Children (SWYC), Cycle of Engagement tools including Well-Visit Planner (WVP) and the Promoting Healthy Development Survey (PHDS), the Welch Emotional Connection Screen (WECS), and FINDconnect.

While these five, specific tools served as the basis for the analysis, our efforts were guided by a desire to understand provider and parent demand, and technological feasibility, for tools that seeks to increase parent engagement with the well-child visit and strengthen pediatric capacity to promote children’s health and development, including social-emotional development, in the well-child visit setting.

Phase 1 explored issues such as:

  1. Barriers and facilitators to adoption of the product in pediatric primary care settings;
  2. Receptivity to the platform by parents, providers, and other project stakeholders;
  3. Options to promote sharing of data between the platform and surrounding early childhood sector partners, via HMG; and
  4. Opportunities to recommend further refinements to the tool or its usage to facilitate wider uptake.

For more, read the executive summary and full report from Phase 1.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of the PSP project focused on the development of an Integrated Pediatric Support Platform (IPSP) to support children’s optimal social-emotional well-being by integrating web-based tools that advance developmental promotion, early detection, and referral and linkage to services for children and families. While the IPSP is envisioned and designed to extend into any and all child health and family services provider settings, the primary activities of Phase 2 included developing and beta testing a prototype platform to be utilized within the pediatric well-visit encounter.

To support these efforts, the HMG National Center engaged technology and data sharing experts and tool developers from across the country to contribute to a prototype. Patient Tools, Inc., developed the prototype by leveraging its existing technology to deploy select tools in an integrated way. Key outputs of this phase include recommendations regarding the feasibility of an integrated platform to support children’s optimal social-emotional well-being, which will be helpful to inform future development.

The IPSP aims to:

  • Enable parents to set the agenda for their children’s health visits
  • Offer guidance on activities to promote children’s optimal development
  • Elicit parents’ opinions and concerns for their children’s development and behavior, and
  • Assist in linking families to desired community resources

The platform will also offer integration with child health practices and the capacity to interface with electronic medical records. This work will be guided by a group of key advisors comprised of national experts and key partners with expertise in the policy and practice implications of transforming child health services.