The Community Social Pediatrics Symposium is a Fondation du DrJulien initiative that is part of a collective effort to build on what we have learned from practice. It is a biannual event bringing together practitioners, scientists, academics, researchers and political decision-makers who wish to influence the ways in which we can help children at risk.

This year, the Symposium will focus on the many faces of vulnerability and will encourage discussions on various action plans. Indeed, society, the law and legislation, communities and families represent as many different realities as there are solutions. What does society think about vulnerable children? How do human rights and public policy help to reduce inequality in healthcare? Where are vulnerable communities located and how can we take into account their unique characteristics for optimal intervention? What frameworks and processes can we establish to ensure the long-term viability of our approach? What are the interventions that are adapted to at-risk communities and how can we measure their impact? Here are just some of the questions that will be raised during the 5th Symposium. From May 25 until 26, take part in the discussions between researchers and intervention professionals.


Children’s Vulnerability : Understanding and Addressing Health Inequities

Symposium Structure

This 5th Symposium, which will be held over two days, has been developed based on Newacheck’s “Children at risk for special healthcare needs” logic model and three levels of analysis: Children and Family, Communities and Systems, and Public Policy and Societal Challenges.

Sessions: Public Policy and Societal Challenges

This session will describe the current situation of vulnerability and the impact of social inequity on children’s health. The conference speakers of the opening plenary session will encourage participants to reflect on the social reality of vulnerability, clinical studies, and the challenges of measuring the results of complex interventions. Once this background information has been provided, a round table will underscore the importance of applying the law and how to measure their daily impacts. This will enable all participants to further understand the reasons for their commitment to vulnerable communities. At the end of the symposium, we will revert back to our macro analysis and start a discussion on the necessity and means to get children involved in public policy.

Sessions: Children and Family

Sponsored by the community social-pediatrics research chairs at McGill University and Université de Montréal, these sessions will provide micro-level analyses to educate intervention professionals and offer tools based on clinical practices that have been adapted to vulnerable children and families. Through concrete examples and workshops, participants will be able to discuss and evaluate different approaches regarding the main theme by taking into account the impact and scope of community social pediatrics.

Sessions: Communities and Systems

These sessions will address the significance of vulnerability and children’s health from the viewpoint of community social pediatrics and using meso-levels of analysis. Researchers will share their expertise regarding the relevance of adopting a geographical approach (social geography) to help overcome inequity in healthcare. Two workshops will then be held to examine the challenges in reaching remote communities and present inspiring approaches that have proven successful in overcoming vulnerability. The workshops’ interactive format and compelling real-life examples will allow participants to reflect upon the environment in which they practice.

Symposium Objectives

  1. To engage practitioners, political decision-makers and academics in thinking together about inequity-related issues affecting children’s quality of life.
  2. To contribute to dialogue among various sectors to make professional practice more effective in helping children at risk.
  3. To share scientific research-based data on health-related quality of life.
  4. To foster a real change in attitude by practitioners, decision-makers and academics when it comes to considering the child’s best interests in the actions they take.