Thank you all so far for your thoughtful comments! Several contributors thus far have highlighted the importance of regular screening for social needs, both to identify needs/provide referrals, and to make these discussions more commonplace overall. Our discussion has also covered the need for a team-based approach, viewing social workers and community partners as expert "subspecialists" in addressing social needs.
Dr. Duffee brought up both formal and informal screening tools (AAP examples here: goo.gl/v5EUos), and I would like to invite others to share about their experiences with implementing (or expanding) screening for social needs into your practice. Who does the screening, and how is it integrated into the clinic flow? How did you develop your community partnerships/referral system? What challenges have you faced and do you have any best practices you have developed in the process? How do you standardize screening so that all families receive the same screening and services regardless of provider/team? How can social workers and community partners work with and help educate providers and staff on community resources and helping families navigate these?