Palliative Care Child Life Services at Baylor Scott & White

Child life specialists are experts in child development. They specialize in supporting children, birth to 18 years and their families, during stressful medical situations. Child life specialists usually work in pediatric hospitals where they help sick children adjust to their own medical condition.

Baylor Scott & White Health is one of the first health systems to add child life specialists to the healthcare team, in the adult setting. Our palliative care child life specialists are members of the Supportive Palliative Care team.  They partner with parents to provide emotional support to children loved by seriously ill or injured adult patients served by Baylor Scott & White. They help children understand what is happening by providing developmentally appropriate information and guidance. Child life specialists work directly with children to help them cope with new experiences and challenges they might encounter during the medical journey.

Baylor Scott & White provides palliative care child life services free of charge.  We are dedicated to ensuring that family-centered care includes all members of the family, even the littlest ones.

Please contact us with questions about Palliative Care Child Life Services.

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About the Palliative Care Child Life Team

As the largest program of its kind in the nation, the Baylor Scott & White Palliative Care Child Life Program has been a pioneer in the field since it began in 2011. The team is comprised of highly educated, extensively trained, experienced certified child life specialists.

Palliative Care Child Life Services include:

Helping adults

  • Explain serious conditions and death to children in a developmentally appropriate manner
  • Understand, plan for, and respond to children’s unique reactions to serious illness or injury, trauma, grief, and loss
  • Feel empowered and more comfortable emotionally supporting their children during the medical journey

Helping children

  • Learn about a new or ongoing diagnosis, understand what to expect during hospital visits, and learn about changes in their loved one’s abilities and appearance
  • Understand, process, and manage their thoughts and feelings about their loved one’s medical condition
  • Understand, prepare for, and cope with the death of their loved one, and learn about grief

Helping families when death is near

  • Supporting families experiencing expected or unexpected death, including deaths following traumatic events
  • Offering family connection and therapeutic interventions, as well as memory-making activities
  • Partnering with the adults to prepare children for funerals and memorial services, and explain traditional burial and cremation

Palliative Care Child Life impact

Frequently asked questions

  • How can families access palliative care child life services?

    Baylor Scott & White adult patients or family members, loved by children ages 0-18 years of age, experiencing serious, life-limiting medical conditions can ask a medical care team member to place a consult for palliative care child life services.

  • Where are palliative care child life services offered?

    Palliative care child life services are provided in person at many Baylor Scott & White campuses. For families that don’t live near one of those campuses, virtual visits are available.

    Before interacting with children, the child life specialist meets in person, by phone, or virtually, with the adults. Partnering with the adults, the child life specialist assists with identifying developmental needs of the children. The child life specialist will provide support tailored to the family’s unique needs and concerns.

  • Will I be billed for palliative care child life services?

    No. These services are never billed to patients or families. Palliative care child life services are offered free of charge to Baylor Scott & White adult patients and their families.

Funding for the Palliative Care Child Life Program

  • How is the team financially supported?

    The palliative care child life team is supported through philanthropy and relies on funding from donors like you, employee giving, and charitable grants.

  • How will my donation be used?

    100% of your donation will go towards helping the Baylor Scott & White palliative care child life team fulfill their mission to support children and families across Texas, as they navigate some of life’s most difficult moments.