Spotlight on the Building Strong Families Clinic for children from immigrant families

Spotlight on the Building Strong Families Clinic for children from immigrant families

Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Green and her team for opening the Building Strong Families (BSF) Clinic!

We recently spoke with Dr. Green about the new clinic and ways that Help Me Grow Vermont can support the participating families.

The clinic, which is funded with support from OneCare, the Vermont Community Foundation and a very generous private donor, serves children from immigrant families who are ages 1 month to 5 years and are patients at the University of Vermont Children’s Primary Care practice.

What makes this clinic unique is that it is embedded in the Janet S. Munt Family Room, a Parent/Child Center located in a building with other services that support New American families. Dr. Green says that working in this space gives the team the opportunity to spend time with families in a more relaxed setting where she can play with kids and observe their behavior. 

Visits at the Building Strong Families Clinic are scheduled for 1.5 hours so that the doctor can do a 30-minute private physical exam with the child, and the remaining time is for education, support around raising kids in a new country, and to connect with other parents. There is always an interpreter available. 

During these visits physicians and two Family Strengthening Workers educate parents about a variety of topics that can include safety, media, nutrition, and positive parenting. This is when the staff can emphasize preventive care and observe children playing in a home-like environment. 

The Family Strengthening Workers are also available to help families navigate systems, fill out paperwork, and make connections to community resources such as Help Me Grow Vermont. 

Dr. Green says that she and her team make referrals to the Help Me Grow contact center, and the child development specialists are supportive in helping connect New American families to services. 

Child playing with blocks

Partnerships like the Building Strong Families Clinic make our collective impact stronger. Do you have ideas or a story about how Help Me Grow Vermont can support children and families in your community?  Let’s chat!  Contact us at [email protected], we would love to hear from you!