Child Life and Child Advocacy Services
Child Advocacy Services
The Children's Advocacy Center at Mease Countryside Hospital is committed to achieving lasting improvements in the lives of our community's children and their families. Our mission is to provide leadership, experience and expertise as a community and state resource to advocate for the health and well-being of children and their families. Through educational classes, community activities, safety product distribution and our legislative efforts, we are making significant progress keeping our children healthier and safer. Children's Advocacy programming focuses on the following areas:
- Home safety assessments and education -includes education on falls, airway obstruction, drowning, fire/burn and poisoning
- Asthma assessments and education - through the Zap Asthma Program, parents and caregivers are taught how to control asthma triggers and reduce the risks associated with childhood asthma
- Child passenger safety education
- Bicycle and pedestrian safety education
- Distribution of literature on a variety of safety and wellness topics
- Asthma education
- Obesity prevention
- Unintentional injury prevention
- Social injury prevention
- Florida KidCare Insurance Outreach
- Community event participation
- Community education classes
Child Life Services
Child Life specializes in meeting the emotional, developmental and recreational needs of each patient. Child Life Specialists are part of your child's health care team and work closely with doctors, nurses and social workers. These specialists can help your child adapt to and cope with their admission.
Bringing your child to the hospital can be a stressful time for you and your family. Depending on their age, children may experience difficulties while being hospitalized due to separation from family, change in routine, unfamiliar faces, misunderstandings about their treatment, fear of upcoming procedures and an overall loss of control.
How Can A Child Life Specialist Help?
- Establish a nonthreatening relationship to build trust
- Work with you and your child to help your child cope with difficult procedures
- Provide emotional support and encourage expression of feelings
Developmentally Appropriate Support
- Explain procedures and diagnosis using developmentally appropriate language
- Allow patients to "play doctor" before or after a procedure to help with understanding
- Help with sibling understanding of the admission/treatment
- Help medical staff understand your child's emotional needs
- Provide support during grief/loss experiences
- Provide activities for play to help with hospital adjustment and stress management
- Plan and facilitate playroom activities, recreational activities, special events, outdoor activities and leisure planning
Our partnership at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital provides the same services for child life advocacy. For more information about their program visit: Children's Advocacy Center at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital
To learn more about Child Advocacy or Child Life Services, please call (727) 539-9380 or view our 2011-2012 Child Life Specialist/Child Advocacy Report.