Pediatric Palliative Care

​If your child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness our pediatric palliative care program may offer the help you and your family needs. We strive to ease children's pain, fulfill their desires and tend to their comfort. Care is provided wherever the child lives—at home, in a residential facility or hospital or at one of our care centers.

Our program complements other treatment options, including curative care. You do not have to forego curative treatment for your child to receive pediatric palliative care. Even a child in a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit can benefit from specialized pain control, symptom management and emotional support offered through our program.

our-services-specialized-peds.jpgYour pediatric team also understands the stress that childhood illness creates for the whole family, especially any siblings, and supports the entire family during the illness and beyond. We help families navigate the healthcare system, make decisions and access benefits. The specialized team also assists by guiding families through recurring feelings of grief or sadness. Additional support is provided by trained volunteers.

Specialized Team. Special Places

Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team that works closely with a child's own physician and a team of expert pediatric physicians from leading health organizations, in order to create an individual plan of care. Your team includes a nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse, social worker, spiritual care coordinator and expressive therapist. Children are not miniature adults; they require specialized medical care. So the Pediatric Team only cares for children. And they follow the child no matter where he or she stays—home, hospital, nursing center—offering consistency and stability.

The children we serve, both patients and visitors are treated with the same loving care we would have for children of our own. Both Ames Family Hospice House and David Simpson Hospice House have children's play rooms—happy places where kids can play with games or watch movies. The newest addition to Ames Family Hospice House is the Hershey Play Garden, a 4,000 square foot therapeutic garden designed for children but open to all visitors who seek the solace and fun of the outdoors.

We also offer several monthly support groups for families. Our school services program offers grief support is available to the child's classmates and religious or social groups and clubs.

​Paying for Care

As a non-profit, community organization, services are provided regardless of a family's ability to pay. Most services are covered by private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Pediatric palliative services that are unreimbursed are often supported through charitable giving. In 1985, we cared for our first pediatric patient, and we are one of the few pediatric palliative and hospice care programs in the country.