DULCE: A Review of Impact and Insights
This report provides an overview and initial lessons learned from Developmental Understanding and Legal Collaboration for Everyone(DULCE), an intervention that brings together health, legal, and early childhood systems partners to better support families of infants during the critical first six months of life. DULCE, an initiative of the Center for the Study of Social Policy, is based in the pediatric care setting and proactively addresses social determinants of health, promotes the healthy development of infants from birth to six months of age, and provides support to their parents.
Integrating DULCE into local early childhood systems helps to ensure: (1) families receive services they need beyond the health system; (2) families develop relationships with community-based organizations so that when their participation in DULCE ends after six months, they continue to be connected to needed services across sectors and know where to go in the future; and (3) each community has an overarching focus on both sustaining and spreading DULCE to new sites to more fully reach populations in need. By being housed in health care locations and integrated into early childhood systems, DULCE helps break down silos between health and other community systems that serve babies during their earliest stage of life, transforming practices across sectors and identifying gaps and barriers to needed services.