Children who hospitalized need more than medicine, they need to have a team of supporters offering emotional and psychosocial support during their stay. Typically parents would be at bedside 24/7 helping their child cope with the trauma, medical procedures and loss of control in this sterile environment, but that’s not always the case.
There are many reasons why families can’t stay with their child; they have other kids at home, they have to work, they are a single parent with the family’s responsibilities, they are ill, don’t have transportation, live far away from the hospital, they may be incarcerated or the child may be in foster care. These kids become more vulnerable without a consistent caregiver and it can have a negative effect on their overall health and wellbeing.
Often times child life specialists will do their best to spend time with these patients or schedule volunteers to work with them, but there is still a gap in service.
Josh Cares was created to fill this gap. In honor of Josh Helfrich, his parents and the Pierce family, created a program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with a team of Josh Cares Child Life Specialists. These 6 specialists work specifically with pediatric patients that don’t have consistent visits from caregivers. They rotate through many units (PICU, CICU, Transplant, BMT, TCC, NICU, Trach and Vent dependent patients) and collaborate with the rest of the child life program to provide exceptional care.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if all hospitals had a program like Josh Cares?
Check out their video and help spread the word on this amazing program.