Family-Centered Care

Family-Centered Care Over the last 15 years, children’s health care and the relationship between families and health professionals have changed significantly. The role of parents/caregivers has shifted from being patients to partners with the health care provider; and the “good patient” has changed from unquestioningly following advice to being a good partner who actively participates in decisions and advocates for services for their child.

“Family-centered care” involves providing the family health care and other services based on the family’s needs, priorities, and convenience rather than those of the service providers or the child alone. Family-centered services are evidence of a program’s commitment to family partnerships and supporting child and family development.

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Family centered care relies on respect and collaboration.

Services are family-centered when:

 The family is recognized as the child’s most constant and important caregiver.

 The family and professionals collaborate as partners.

 Communication is open and honest, in both directions, between the family and professionals.

 Individual strengths and differences are respected among families.

 Services are flexible and responsive to the family’s needs.

 Family-to-family support is encouraged.

 Children with chronic conditions and their families are treated like other children and families, and not defined by their condition.