Volume:9, Issue: 3

Dec. 27, 2017

Articles by #getArticle.ind_name#
What is community social pediatrics?
Trudel, Hélène (Sioui) [about]
The community–based social pediatrics' approach is an innovative model of integrated social medicine dedicated to meeting the global needs of children and ensuring that their fundamental rights are respected. It has originally developed from two key concepts: (1) The desire to make sure that no child "falls through the cracks" in the system – bereft of resources and care, with no one who can really “be there” for the child; (2) The importance of applying the principle that it takes a village to raise a child.  It implies the interconnection of medicine, law, and social services for empowering the child and the family as essential partners for the success of the child overtime. It is clearly a new paradigm of medicine in proximity completely integrative in its actions and outputs.
Adopting a holistic approach to education based on children’s rights
Trudel, Hélène (Sioui) [about]
In the wake of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,3 the international community was fostering a sense of hope for children. Hard work has led to the proclamation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (the “CRC”)4 by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20th, 1989. Since then, some 196 States have signed and ratified this international covenant.5 Canada also embraced the CRC and made major reforms, especially in the delivery of education. It ranks 8th out of 41 rich countries, according to the 2017 UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 14.6 In the province of Quebec, where I work as a lawyer interested in children’s participatory justice, an array of highly developed programs is designed to support children and families, with the goal of seeing that everyone enjoys good physical and mental health: daycare services are widely available at relatively low costs; education and health care are provided mostly free of charge; and children whose development and safety hang in the balance are monitored and protected by powerful watchdog agencies.  Despite all these important efforts, some 26% of Canadian children are still not ready to successfully enter kindergarten, because of either speech and language delays, or lack of social, emotional and cognitive skills. This rate is even higher (34,9%) in communities where living conditions are harsh [1], and based on our practice in community social pediatrics; we estimate that this rate is closer to 50%. 
The child’s acquired power to act through education
Trudel, Hélène (Sioui) [about]
When countries like Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, children’s rights’ advocates felt a new era was promised to ensure the protection of the children’s inherent dignity as human beings. Countries would strive to meet children’s needs regardless of the neighborhood in which they are born and raised. Education was casted as a fundamental right and advanced as essential for children to grow as healthy adults living a full and satisfying life.2 Schooling is only part of the answer. It cannot, by itself, achieve this noble goal. The responsibility for education must be shared between the State, the family, and the community to provide children with a broad range of experiences. This paper presents the model of the Circle of the Child,3 an amicable alternative dispute resolution mechanism I have developed over three years, with a number of partners (including children), in two disadvantaged communities in Montréal, Canada.4 It is designed to help children and families who come into conflict with the education system. To better understand how this model really works, I will expose Susana’s case (the name is fictional, of course). Through learning, the child develops critical analytical tools that help her understand her rights and become a meaningful participant of the process. The child also gets empowered to act and feel free to find solutions that meet her needs.
A Case Study from Social Pediatrics Practice
Trudel, Hélène (Sioui) [about]
To make the situation more concrete, we’d like to take you for a journey to our pediatric center. Let us look more closely at one particular story. Just as the cases we see daily in our community social pediatric settings, it clearly demonstrates the fact that behind what seems an ordinary problem or a disruptive behavior often lies a violation of children’s fundamental rights. It also highlights how to deal with different views from all actors involved in the child’s life and the importance of acting in the best interest of the child. … An exasperated mother shouted in the clinic of community social pediatrics, “You’ve gotta give him a higher dose! He’s driving me crazy. If you don’t, they sure won’t let him back into school.” In the waiting room, a six-year-old boy stood as the “terror of the neighborhood” – and he knew it all right. He was considered so disruptive that the school had deprived him of his right to education several times. Earlier in his short existence, he’d been sent home from daycare and kindergarten on a regular basis. He was experiencing a form of rejection, not just by his age group and his school, but also by his family. 

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