When your child has a health problem, it can affect many parts of their life. They may be confused about their illness or scared to have a procedure. They may miss weeks of school or a season of sports.
As a parent or caregiver, you also have a lot to cope with. You may worry about how to support your child while also balancing the demands of work and home. But you can also have peace of mind, knowing our specialists are here to help.
Strong Support for Patients and Families
Our support services are designed to make this experience easier for you and your family. Whether you are looking for fun activities to pass the time or need help understanding your child’s condition, you will find the resources you need.
Your child’s care team includes child life specialists, social workers, and other professionals. Together, we provide the help and encouragement you need to get through this.
We want to make sure you understand — and take part in — any discussions about your child’s condition and treatments. It is also important for you to understand any medical forms or written instructions given to you.
If you or your child are hearing impaired or do not speak English, you can request an interpreter or translator. We offer interpreter and translation services in many languages. This includes American Sign Language and text communication using a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD).
If you would like to learn more about your child’s illness or injury, visit our medical library. It is located on the lower level of the hospital, near the cafeteria. Our librarian can help you find the medical information you need, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nothing brings a smile to a child’s face like a furry friend. Our pet therapy program connects hospital patients with certified therapy dogs. These visits help:
- Reduce your child’s fears about staying in the hospital.
- Encourage social interaction.
- Promote laughter and play.
- Provide a distraction from illness, medical testing, and hospitalization.
Our pastoral care team provides comfort and calm during times of stress — and helps celebrate your child’s recovery. Team members are available around the clock to talk, listen, or offer sacraments.
You can request a visit from one of our hospital chaplains or our network of community clergy that represents many faith traditions. You may also invite your family’s own faith leader to visit.
If you need a quiet place to meditate or pray during your child’s hospital stay, please visit our nondenominational chapel. Located on the first floor near the gift shop, the chapel is open 24 hours a day.
It may be helpful for you or your child to speak to other people who have similar health challenges. We offer several support groups to help you share experiences and learn from each other.
Some of these support groups are for children, while others bring together parents and caregivers.
Free Programs for Families
While you are here, if you need community assistance and resources, consider our Center for the Urban Child.
This program provides a one-stop experience for families who need routine medical check-ups, social services, or legal support.
On-site services include:
- Prompt referrals to pediatric specialists at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
- Care coordinators who provide health education and make sure children stick to their treatment plans.
- Social workers and parenting specialists.
- A Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) enrollment office.
- A PhilaKids Medical Legal Partnership office.
- A Farm to Families/Fresh Rx food program.
- A screening and referral program for victims of abuse or violence.