Ottawa (Ontario), November 19, 2014 — The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is working with the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of Ottawa to help protect the well-being of the region’s most vulnerable children. CHEO’s Child and Youth Protection (CYP) Clinic, opened in partnership with the CAS, has helped close to a hundred children and youth in the past year.
“We are really pleased to work in close collaboration with the Children’s Aid Society to protect children from abuse and neglect and promote their health and well-being,” said Alex Munter, President and CEO of CHEO. “By connecting care within our walls and beyond our walls, we are able to address the root social causes that affect children’s mental and physical health.”
The goal of the Child and Youth Protection (CYP) Clinic is to provide early, comprehensive, and expert help to address issues of abuse or neglect. The clinic focuses on assessments for physical abuse and neglect as well as screening for other medical, developmental and behavioural problems.
CHEO has been able to do more for vulnerable children since opening the Clinic in partnership with CAS. The new clinic has been able to assess more children and youth, tackle a broader range of issues and provide a more complete assessment of their patients’ overall needs. In the past, CHEO’s child and youth protection program was consulted by physicians for children and youth requiring hospital admission or emergency care. As a result, only children with the most severe injuries from maltreatment were being referred.
According to the clinic director and pediatrician, Dr. Michelle Ward, “One of the greatest benefits of this new clinic is that it allows for direct and open communication between the hospital staff, families and the Children’s Aid Society. It means we can get a more complete picture of a child and family’s needs, help them access resources sooner, and work in a more coordinated way.”
The CYP Clinic is one of CHEO’s Connected Care initiatives, which connect services at CHEO and in the community for greater impact. These initiatives are part of CHEOnext, a road map for improving children’s health care in the region and beyond.
The Clinic’s two physicians specialize in child maltreatment pediatrics and work closely with a CAS child protection worker as well as nursing and administrative staff. Eighty-five percent of the children and youth seen in the clinic are referred directly by the CAS.
In addition to providing an opinion on maltreatment issues, in 70% of cases new health issues are identified that were not known to the child’s caregivers before the clinic visit. Almost half of the children and youth seen are referred on to other specialized services. The clinic also allows for greater access to information and support, connecting children and families with community and school resources in addition to specialized medical attention.
“This partnership offers direct access to medical services that the children and youths involved with the CAS need,” said Barbara MacKinnon, Executive Director of the CAS. “We appreciate CHEO’s proactive approach in serving our most vulnerable community members.”
The CYP Clinic was recently awarded a CAS Service Provider Award for 2014.
In 2013, the CAS of Ottawa served almost 6,000 families, the majority of whom did not have adequate medical care. The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa is a non-profit community organization funded by the Government of Ontario.
CHEO is a pediatric health and research centre providing outstanding family-centered patient care, pioneering breakthrough research, and training the health care professionals of tomorrow.
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