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Family Centered Care

Planning a family's care

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Family is the center of a child's whole world. Parents and family members are the source of a child's strength, courage and comfort. This is especially true when a child is injured, ill or physically or mentally challenged. At Cook Children's, our family centered care approach means that families become partners with us in their child's care. Studies have shown that active parent participation—learning, asking questions and providing input—can lead to better health outcomes and improve the overall quality of care and safety for the child.

Family centered care at Cook Children's includes four core concepts

  • Respect and dignity – As part of your child's health care team, we'll listen to and honor your opinions and choices. Respecting diversity and ensuring inclusion are critical to providing the best possible care. We'll also make sure your family's knowledge, values, beliefs and culture are part of the planning and delivery of care. Understanding that every patient is different and finding out what works best for each child and family.
  • Information sharing – Our team will talk with you and keep you up to date on your child's care. You'll receive timely, complete and accurate information so you can be part of the care and decision-making process. We ensure information and patient education is easy to understand. Interpretation services are also available.
  • Participation – Patients and families are encouraged to participate in the decision-making of their child's care. They are encouraged to ask questions, work with medical staff on a treatment plan, learn to manage their child's care and play an active role on the care team.
  • Collaboration – Patients, families, health care team members and leaders work together to create and carry out policies and programs. Collaboration is the foundation of family centered care.

There are a number of programs and services available to help

  • Parents as Partners – the core of our family centered care.
  • Family Advisory Council – a partnership between families and staff.
  • Youth Advisory Council – current and former patients (6-12 grade) work with medical center staff, sharing their perspective and suggestions to create a medical center environment that meets their needs, emotionally as well as physically.
  • Child Life services – Providing a variety of educational, supportive, comforting and play–oriented activities for patients, parents, siblings and other family members.
  • Cook Children's Creative Artist in Residence Programme (CARPE) – provides patients and families a variety of artistic mediums for therapeutic benefit.
  • Patient safety – tips for ensuring a safe experience at Cook Children's.
  • School program – helps kids keep up with schoolwork during a stay at the medical center and offers a sense of normalcy for kids whose daily routines have been interrupted. School gives them something to focus on besides their medical battle.
  • Patient Representatives – listen to a family's concerns and serve as advocates when addressing needs and complaints.
  • Working together – parents are an integral part of their child's health care team.
  • Resources – helpful information.