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Publication Title:

Medical-Legal Partnership Interventions and Child Development: Cross-sector Partnerships to Address Social Determinants of Health


Keller Anne Ruble, MA (Institute for Child Success)
Kirby Mitchell, JD (South Carolina Legal Services)
Kerry Sease, MD, MPH (Greenville Health System Children’s Hospital Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health & Advocacy)

Date: September 2018

Publication Type: Issue Briefs & Policy Reports

Policy Area: Building Stronger Early Childhood Systems

Page Count: 27


Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) offer an innovative, cost-efficient approach by layering medical diagnosis and treatment with an examination and remediation of environmental factors in patients’ lives causing them to be or stay sick. MLPs go beyond treating symptoms to address root contextual causes that limit child and family health and well-being. Through a holistic approach, MLPs foster immediate and long-term health while removing barriers to supporting healthy child development and healthy families.

This paper outlines the structure, services, and outcomes associated with Medical-Legal Partnerships, explores the growth and utilization of MLPs in South Carolina as a case study to inform other efforts, highlights the impact of social determinants of health and child development, and identifies opportunities to strengthen MLP service delivery for improved public health.

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