Family Support and Resources

Having a child who is diagnosed with cancer can feel overwhelming. Our team is here to help in every way that we can which includes offering a variety of resources to help families cope with the diagnosis, communicate with their child about his or her illness, and navigate the treatment process.

At St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, we offer several support resources for both the patient and family members, including:

  • Certified Child Life Specialists - Child Life Specialists are experts in childhood development. They work with children of all ages to help reduce the anxiety and fear that can come with being in the hospital.
  • Community Resources - Support team members provide access and referrals to local and national pediatric oncology resources throughout your child’s treatment journey.
  • Dedicated Pediatric Dietician - Proper nutrition is important for children living with cancer. Our dietician evaluates each child’s nutrition status and provides recommendations  and support to keep your child as healthy as possible during and after treatment.
  • Education Resources - Child Life Specialists, social workers, physicians and our patient care leader all work to provide patients and families with the appropriate education and resources based on your child’s specific diagnosis and needs.
  • Financial Assistance - Our team works with families to understand their needs and direct them to the appropriate financial support resources if necessary.
  • Hemophilia Social Worker - Works closely with a comprehensive team dedicated to supporting individuals and families with bleeding and clotting disorders. The social service specialist is available to the hemophilia community on an outpatient and inpatient basis. 
  • Music Therapy - This type of therapy can support patients through pain management, hospital anxieties, and promote relaxation.
  • Medical Play and Distraction Techniques - Our Child Life team provides a wide-range of support to help patients  understand procedures, manage stress and learn to cope better with their surroundings
  • Pediatric Social Workers - Our social service specialist visits patients and families in the hospital unit, providing education and support based on their individual needs. This includes referrals to local and national pediatric oncology resources as well as counselors, assistance with financial support, answering general questions about the treatment journey and guiding parents to additional resources when necessary. 
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Services
  • Pastoral Care - Our inpatient Chaplain, is dedicated to the spiritual and emotional well-being of our patients and families.  They use their specialized education and training to serve the emotional, spiritual and religious needs of persons of all faith traditions, including those without specific affiliations.
  • Palliative Care - This special type of support is offered for children facing serious illness. The palliative care team provides a multitude of services and resources for the patient and their family with a focus is on comfort and quality of life.
  • Pet Therapy - Pet therapy helps patients cope better throughout their hospitalizations. It can support healing, reduce stress, and lift spirits. 
  • Pill Swallowing Program - Swallowing pills can be difficult for children. Our Child Life Specialists provide tips and tools and help teach children how to swallow pills, which may be important to their treatment.
  • Supportive Counseling - We have a myriad of team members that provide education and support throughout every stage your child’s treatment journey, including Child Life Specialists, social workers, case management, palliative care and the hospital patient care leader.
To make an appointment with a pediatric hematology-oncology specialist call (813) 321-6820.