Heartfelt Healthcare – from Head to Toe
Behavioral Health & Social Service
We view mental health as a basic and fundamental element of every child’s overall health.
Our services include:
- Developmental & behavioral health screenings
- Short- term intervention
- On-going case management
- Referrals for family support
- Referrals to mental health agency partners
For this reason, we’ve included a social worker at most well-child medical visit since 1920. Recently, there is also the connection to a Social Worker for the clinic’s dental patients. Now, most patients who visit the clinic for their preventative dental visits will also be screened and have access to speak with a Social Worker. This differentiating feature is critical to treating the child as a whole. Ideally children should enjoy life, play, and learn in a safe place; however, many children are not able to live up to this idealistic picture. At the clinic, Social workers help the caregivers (mother, father, foster parent, or guardian) understand their child’s behavior as being complex and affected by factors (physical health, mental health, home environment, social and economic challenges). We all work as a team to meet your needs.
During every well child visit a social worker will come speak with you to develop a trusting relationship that will focus on needs, challenges, strengths, resources, and solutions. During the encounter the social worker focuses on learning about the family’s perspective of what they view as their challenges and goals.
There can be discussions on coping strategies and solutions for non-crises challenges. Most Short-term interventions are completed with families that do not have a need for long term therapy, but express concerns that have the opportunity for strength base brief treatment.
During the social work encounter there are screenings that are completed for development, social emotional, and autism. Providers will schedule an appointment with you if there is concern and need for an ADD/ADHD screening. If your child is an adolescent, we will also complete Teen Questionnaires. Mothers are also given an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression screening. The screening are completed together and then discussed. If there are challenges identified with the screenings, then a plan is developed to address these challenges.
If needed, then referrals are made within the clinic to the Dietician or Social Worker. Other referrals are made for services that are not provided at the clinic to organizations such as food pantries, housing, shelters, crises care, mentoring, public aid office, schools, early intervention, long term therapy and more.
Follow up is completed with families that had further concerns or questions. There are times when parents/guardians have questions after the well child visits; parents/guardians are encouraged to call and speak with a social worker on any behavior health concern or questions.
At every well-child visit, a social worker uses a variety of standard assessment tools to identify early signs of social and emotional problems and developmental delays. Providers will conduct medication monitoring based on specific need. Some cases will be referred to outside partnerships for evaluation and medication management.
Help Hotlines and Behavioral Health Information Resources
TREATING THE CHILD AS A WHOLE
A Caring Process
“Meeting with families and talking to them is one of the best parts of my day. There are different strengths and challenges that each family has; however, not many see how resilient they are. My goal is to let families know that they are not alone within any situation and we are always here to explore with them their options for all of the different chapters in life.”
Denise V. Gonzalez, MSW
Director of Behavioral Health