Improving health care for immigrant and refugee kids:
New website targets professionals working with newcomer families
Children and youth new to Canada do not enjoy the same health status as their Canadian-born peers. That’s why the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) wants to ensure that health care practitioners caring for immigrant and refugee kids have what they need to provide the best possible care.
In April 2013, the CPS launched Caring for Kids New to Canada (kidsnewtocanada.ca), a free bilingual website for health professionals working with newcomer children and youth. It features evidence-based information on how to assess and screen patients, evaluate and manage medical conditions, promote good health, evaluate child development, and much more. The first Canadian website of its kind, Caring for Kids New to Canada also helps health professionals understand how culture affects health, and what they can do to provide more culturally sensitive care.
“Health care providers across this country care for immigrant and refugee children and youth every day,” said Dr. Tony Barozzino, the website’s co-editor-in-chief and Director of Community Outreach and Ambulatory Services at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. “The increased mobility of individuals around the globe and the sheer size of Canada—where local resources and expertise can vary widely—make Caring for Kids New to Canada invaluable and timely in its introduction.”
Dr. Barozzino said even health professionals who see newcomer families regularly can benefit from up-to-date online information. He added that the site will be a useful tool for physicians and nurses in training.
“Although there are some resources for health care practitioners in Canada, they tend to be regional, specific to particular groups, and adult-focused,” said Dr. Chuck Hui, co-editor-in-chief of the website and Founder of the International Adoption Clinic and Paediatric Infectious Diseases physician at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. “This guide is a direct response to needs identified by key stakeholders with input from content experts from across the country and multiple disciplines.”
Development of the website involved a 22-member editorial board with representatives from paediatrics, family medicine and nursing, as well as an extensive network of expert peer reviewers and other contributors. The result is a resource that addresses many of the most common questions faced by health care providers while providing in-depth information in areas that are important to providing appropriate and complete care.
Development of the site will continue over the next year, with new content being added regularly.