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Principle 3: Family-centred care
Principle 3: Family-centred care
The following is one of a group of principles which recognise the particular needs of children and young people receiving health and disability support services. The principles describe what should be provided when your child or young person receives those services. They are based on expert opinion and a considerable body of literature in New Zealand and overseas and they have been developed after wide consultation. See all the principles listed in Principles: what health and disability services should provide for your child or young person.
Principle: Children are part of a family and are dependent on parents or primary caregivers for physical and emotional care and support. Families are a critical part of support and care for children.
Health care and disability support of children and young people must be family-centred; that is, responsive to family needs.
In a family-centred approach, health care must be planned with the family, respecting each family’s cultural background and particular strengths and needs.
Family-centred care is evident when:
parents are encouraged and supported to stay with their child when they are receiving health care services and to accompany and support their child during procedures (for example, in the anaesthetic room and in recovery)
families receive the information and support they need and request throughout the course of their child's or young person's treatment
- each family's beliefs, traditions, and ways of coping are respected
families are invited to share their knowledge of their child or young person and suggestions for their care, to ask the questions they want and need to ask, and to help identify the goals for their child or young person's care
- families participate actively in all of their child's care and become full members of the care teams
families are supported to allow increasing confidentiality between their child and the child or young person's health professionals as the child matures
You may ask
- is your family included in all health care planning regarding your child?
- is information available to you as often as needed, in a variety of formats; for example, written, verbal, audio and / or visual? (see Information ... (children and young people) and Information ... (family / whānau))
- is information appropriate to your child's / family's culture and your child's or young person's age group? (see Information ... (children and young people) and Information ... (family / whānau))
- how can you access your child’s notes?
- what information is available about financial support for your family?
- what provision is made for siblings?
- what support services are available to your family and what is their role; for example, social worker, community worker, child / patient advocate?
- does your family feel that your preferences in relation to grief, parenting style, choices about health care etc, are being accepted and supported?
- are there programmes provided for children, young people and their siblings to help them understand the treatment, illness and / or disability?
are older children and young people given dedicated time to discuss sensitive matters with health professionals?
is there bedside accommodation for parents or primary caregivers of children in hospital?
- what practical support is available free of charge for your family; for example, meals for a live-in parent in hospital, or residential health care setting?
© Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 – 2013
Printed on 20 May 2013. Content is regularly updated so please refer to www.kidshealth.org.nz for the most up-to-date version
DISCLAIMERThis fact sheet is for educational use only.
Please consult your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child.
Fact sheets are subject to copyright. In the interests of information sharing they may be copied but acknowledgement must be given to PSNZ and Starship Foundation.
© The Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 - 2012