What I have learned



  1. Community social pediatrics is a medical approach.


    ANSWER: True. Community social pediatrics is a model of integrated social medicine that uses a holistic approach to health. It incorporates other disciplines into its methodology, especially social sciences and law, which enables practitioners to get a better sense of the overall context and the sources of toxic stress that affect a child’s development and well-being.

  2. All responses to stress are toxic.


    ANSWER: False. Stress is not necessarily bad. It is merely an organism’s non-specific response to something the organism is asked to do. But this response can become toxic when children experience intense, frequent and prolonged adversity. Prolonged activation of stress response systems can disturb the development and architecture of the brain as well as other biological systems. It can delay children’s development, harm their ability to learn and increase the risk of developing diseases and cognitive disorders when they grow up.

  3. Community social pediatrics is an approach developed for vulnerable children.


    ANSWER: True. All chidlren are born vulnerable. However some remain vulnerable because of the environement in which they grow up. Community social pediatrics was not developed for vulnerable children, but rather for children at risk because of the vulnerable circumstances they find themselves in. Vulnerability is first and foremost linked with the social determinants of health that are associated with the child’s specific context. This distinction is important because it highlights the child’s capacity to get out of this temporarily vulnerable state on the one hand, and the need to work with the community to deal directly with determinants of health that are specific to disadvantaged communities on the other. These two elements – the child’s adaptability and the community’s capacity to act – are essential to the community social pediatrics approach, which aims to ensure that children at risk have a positive life course trajectory and grow up safe and healthy.

  4. Needs and rights are closely connected in community social pediatrics.


    ANSWER: True. Even if children’s needs are often more blatant, there is always a corresponding right. For example, children’s need to be healthy and live in a healthy environment so they can grow and develop to their full potential corresponds to the right to have every opportunity to be born in good health and to develop their full potential.

  5. The community social pediatrics approach relies on children’s resilience to ensure their needs are being met and to reduce sources of toxic stress.


    ANSWER: True. But it’s not only the child’s resilience. It relies on parents’ and the community’s resilience as well. It looks for strengths that can be found in the child’s skills, interests, dreams and hopes. It recognizes parents’ ability to meet their child’s physical needs, to provide intellectual stimulation, supervision, protection and support, as well as to obtain the resources and supports needed to ensure the child’s well-being. Finally, it identifies community characteristics that may contribute to a child’s well-being, i.e., the physical environment and the child’s social safety net.