What We Work For
Developmental Understanding and Legal Collaboration for Everyone (DULCE) is transforming the way families experience health care.
DULCE is an innovative intervention 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 6 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 medical providers and families. 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 representative, a mental health representative, a project lead, and a clinic administrator. Together, they can connect families to critical supports and reduce their stress, thus 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 income, families of color, and immigrants. DULCE seeks to address these disparities by utilizing community health models, accelerating access to justice, and advocating for systems change, all based on families’ needs.
The DULCE model first began being replicated and evaluated in 2016 in five Early Childhood Learning and Innovation Network for Communities (EC-LINC) communities as a component of their local early childhood systems– and it is already expanding. If you are interested in learning more about DULCE, please click the tabs below or contact our experts.