The Need

Children are not supposed to get sick and die, but many do. Today in the U.S. alone, more than 50,000 children die each year, many after a lengthy illness and without the benefit of pediatric hospice support.

With the rising number of children contracting cancer and other deadly illnesses, more families are confronted daily with the emotional and medical needs of their children.

Unfortunately, less than one percent of children needing hospice care in the U.S. receive it. Many families do not receive insurance coverage for child hospice care, nor do they have the ability to pay for it on their own.

Often an ignored area hospice, children’s hospice care differs from adult programs in its approach and requires the cooperation of families, medical professionals, and other specialists to care for the dying child.

Services needed include: pediatric nursing on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; expert pain and symptom management; in-home blood transfusions, interdisciplinary team case management; coordination and advocacy with community resources; intensive family support, including counseling; specialized bereavement services for parents and siblings; and coordination and support during hospitalization.