Social Pediatrics: For the Well-Being of Children

The Vitae Foundation Vitae established a pediactric fund to support the activities of the Sherbrooke neighbourhood intervention team:

  • spending some time at a summer camp to help built up self-esteem;
  • stimulating a child into moving may involve enrolling him or her in a dance class class or, better yet, organizing a dance class in which other youth in the neighbourhood are invited to attend;
  • influence the behavior of a child troubled by family conflict by organizing an activity that is good for the whole family.
In the picture, Pediatrician Geneviève Beaulieu examines young Shana Bisson (front) while Marie-Pier Bégin-Léveillé, a social worker and neighbourhood worker, talks to the child's father, Réal Bisson, and his other daughter, Katrina.

Children are the most vulnerable

Twice per month, two pediatricians hold a clinic at the neighbourhood facilities used by the neighbourhood intervention team. "Some families in the grips of an emergency do not go to the hospital or to the CLSC because they are not really familiar with these services or are suspicious of the public system," explained Marie-Pier Bégin-Léveillé, a social worker and neighbourhood intervention worker.

Finding the right solution

Children are always referred. The intervention is carried out as a team, with the family, and is based upon a variety of expertise in order to get a general vision of the situation. The pediatrician may identified sleep apnea in the case of a child who was always tired. The very same problem might have been explained by a nutritional deficiency. The parents would have been referred to a food bank."

"Parents often come to see us after the social pediatrics clinic is held. Taking care of children also involves taking care of their parents," added Marie-Pier Bégin-Léveillé.

The Ascot neighbourhood has one of the highest levels of social and material deprivation in Québec. Social pediatric services are also offered to children aged 0 to 17 years with specific medical problems (failure to grow and develop, neglect, complex migration, behavioural disorders, etc.).


A French version of this document was published in La Tribune during the annual fundraising campaign.

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