What We Work For
Developmental Understanding and Legal Collaboration for Everyone (DULCE) is transforming the way families experience health care.
DULCE is an innovative approach based in the pediatric care setting that proactively addresses social determinants of health, promotes the healthy development of infants, and provides support to their parents, all during the precious and critical first six months of life. DULCE does this by introducing a Family Specialist trained in child development, relational practice, and concrete support problem solving into the pediatric care team. Family Specialists attend well-child visits with families and providers. They get to know the families, provide peer support, and then work with the DULCE Interdisciplinary Team to connect families with resources and support.
The DULCE Interdisciplinary Team is comprised of a Family Specialist, a medical provider, a legal partner, an early childhood systems representative, a mental health representative, a project lead, and a clinic administrator. By working to address the accumulated burden of social and economic hardship, DULCE—through the Interdisciplinary Team—reduces family stress, giving families more time and energy to bond with and care for their new child.
Many conditions contribute to stress, including poverty, inadequate housing, and lack of adequate nutrition, all of which are more likely to impact families with low incomes, families of color, and immigrants. We recognize that the social determinants of health are a result of inequities in the distribution of power and resources, rooted in a history of racist local, state, and federal policies. By utilizing community health models, accelerating access to justice, and advocating for systems change—all based on families’ needs—DULCE strives to create a more equitable distribution of power and resources and address inequitable systems that preclude families from living healthy lives.
DULCE is currently located in 13 sites across three states, with partners across the health, legal, and early childhood sectors and plans to continue national expansion. If you are interested in learning more about DULCE, please click the tabs below or contact our experts.