MAIN DANS LA MAIN – A Social Pediatric Center for the Brome-Missisquoi Community

Our mission

“Our mission is to ensure that every child from 0 to 18 years old and living in vulnerable circumstances has access to community social pediatrics care that enhances their well-being and helps them to develop to their full potential.”

Our philosophy and mission follow the model advocated by Dr. Julien’s Foundation.

Our values

In order to foster the attainment of the child goals and success, the Team of Main dans la Main community social pediatrics centre, including a clinical crew, a management team and many volunteers, adheres to several important values ​​in every and each intervention involving the child and his family.

The values ​​that define us are:

  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Mutual aid
  • Commitment
  • Integrity
  • Creativity

Our story

Community Social pediatrics history

The practice of social pediatrics took shape in the early 1990s when Dr. Gilles Julien founded the first two communities social pediatrics centres in Montreal’s underprivileged neighborhood; The Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district in 1997 followed by the Côte-des-Neiges district in 2003. Since then, the movement of social pediatrics in the community knows a continued growth throughout all Quebec Province. Each year, teams like ours take inspiration in Dr. Julien’s approach to open a brand new social pediatrics centre adapted to the colours of their own community. These fully autonomous centres get their financial support from the local community in which they are located.

Hand in Hand

Since 2008, Me Ysabelle Proulx, a specialized lawyer mediator in family law and child rights, is mainly devoted to the representation of children in Superior Court and Youth Chamber in the Estrie region. In 2012, training given by Dr. Gilles Julien’s foundation with “the circle of the child” as a subject, has sparked the idea of opening a social pediatrics centre within her own community to better respond to the growing needs of highly vulnerable families and children.

Less than two years after the very first meeting to discuss on the subject, the Main dans la Main Centre offered its first clinical services. In 2015, Main dans la Main organization became an official member of the Community Social Pediatrics Centres certified by Dr. Julien’s Foundation.

Our team

Delphine Bachand-Morin, Clinical Director

Elisabeth Lapointe, Executive Director

Richard Couture, Executive Assistant

Kathy Turcotte, Administrative Assistant and Receptionist

Lisa Masclé, Social Worker

Marie-Josée Dumas, Social Worker

Anne-Sophie Tanguay, Social Worker

Cynthia Rhicard, Social Worker

Agnès Charbonneau, Educator and Responsable for the Activities

Vanessa Dufresne, Specialized Educator and Pet Therapist

Caroline Landry, Specialized Educator (professional resource deployed by CIUSSS Estrie, 1 day per week)

Dre Anne Rouleau, Doctor

Dre Sophie Guigovaz, Doctor

Board of Directors

Anne Rouleau, President

Rachel Gendron, Vice-president

Aurélie Boivin, Secretary

Vincent Ménard, Tresorer

Julie Coderre, Director

Karyn Brownn, Director

Louise Martel, Director

Mélanie Cognard, Director

Our goals

We aim at identifying and acting on the needs of children in vulnerable situations, their rights that are not respected, and at reducing or eliminating the sources of toxic stress that affect their development and well-being with intensive and personalized monitoring in proximity to the child.

  • Promoting the re-empowerment and increasing responsabilisation of the family unit along with the involvement of the significant people in the child’s life;
  • Ensuring that the rights of our children are respected according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • Facilitating the sharing of information to better assess the resources of the family, community and institutions and evaluate the strengths and needs of the child;
  • Breaking the isolation of families in high vulnerability;
  • Providing rapid access to complementary services to the health network;
  • Giving an access to legal services to resolve impasses;
  • Improving social-emotional well-being of children and their families;
  • Helping with the prevention of:
    • juvenile delinquency;
    • early school dropout;
    • chronic health problems;
    • drugs and substance abuse;
    • committing suicide;
    • Helping to improve children’s social fabric by involving more than 100 volunteers throughout the year and on various occasions.

Our clientele

Any child from 0 to 18 years old facing a situation of high vulnerability within the territory of Brome-Missisquoi (family, financial etc):

  • Presenting multiple problems or at high risk of developing them;
  • Undergoing various toxic stresses (food insecurity, neglect, violence, social isolation, parental conflict, etc.);
  • Having a behavioral, academic, learning disorder, combined with any other stress.

Our services

A multidisciplinary team, including doctors, social workers and a lawyer-mediator, meets and follows up with the child and the persons who are significant in his life. In every intervention, the child is always put at the very heart of the meeting.

What we offer:

  • A welcoming, stimulating and safe environment (deinstitutionalized);
  • Listening and prioritizing the needs of the child;
  • Interventions without time limit;
  • A flexible structure allowing the decentralization of specialties and resources;
  • Evaluation and monitoring of the overall health of the child;
  • Psychosocial and educational supervision both individually and in a group.
  • Integration of services available for children (schools, CSSS, CJ / DPJ, Bedford Bar, community centers, etc.);
  • Creating a living environment where the children in situations of high vulnerability have the opportunity to develop their potential by:
    • Homework tutoring;
    • Art therapy workshops;
    • Musical workshops;
    • Zootherapy;
    • Other activities and special trips (snow sliding, visits to apple orchard etc.)

Our mobile clinic

Clinique mobile Main dans la main

In order to accommodate and be closer to families who wish to use our services but have limited access to any mean of transportation, Main dans la Main mobile clinic drives once a month to different cities around the municipality of Cowansville to offer free and medical services. Bedford, Brome Lake and Sutton are the main three hosting cities covered by our CPSC Hand in Hand clinic on the road. We now also visit the cities of Farnham and Bromont.

The doctor and social worker warmly welcomes families on a special school bus for the occasion. Services offered to the mobile clinic users are exactly the same as the Main dans la Main CPSC in cowansville.

Law Social-Medicine Alliance


The “law social-medicine alliance” (ADMS Alliance Droit Médecine- Sociale) was incorporated into the community social pediatrics model in 2007 by the lawyer Hélène (Sioui) Trudel, to increase the effectiveness of community social pediatrics teams.

Me Ysabelle Proulx, prosecutor for children and youth, has followed the movement started by Me Sioui Trudel. As soon as the Cowansville Social Pediatrics center was created, Mrs. Proulx ensured the integration of the law and the Social Pediatrics practice within the brand new Hand in Hand center.

What is it?

The purpose of ADMS is to integrate law to the approach of community social pediatrics aiming to improve it’s actions. This component facilitates access to justice for clients of social pediatrics centres and ensures the respect of their fundamental rights. Thus, the combination of law to the social pediatrics practice enables a more complete diagnosis of the child’s health and allows interventions to be more effective so we can better accompany and provide the young person accurate healthcare.

The 7 children’s rights principles in community social pediatrics (Trudel, 2010):

  1. Children are born equal before the law, and their growth and development must be assured irrespective of differences.
  2. The child’s best interests must be the overriding concern in all decisions made concerning him or her.
  3. Children must enjoy the rights and freedoms to which every human being is entitled.
  4. The entire community must be concerned with families in need in order to better support children.
  5. Children must have every opportunity to be born in good health and to develop their full potential.
  6. Children must be able to get educated, to have fun and to be open to the world.
  7. Children must be protected.

The Convention of the United Nation Child Rights (1989) has been ratified by 193 countries over the world where 2.2 billion children live. This is the most widely ratified convention in the history of mankind. It aims to promote and protect children’s rights worldwide. Canada ratified the Convention on the United Nation Child Rights in 1990.