Family Support Services
At the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, children and their parents get the benefit of a service not found elsewhere in the CSRA and surrounding areas -- our child life specialists.
Our child life specialists are specially trained individuals who provide compassionate and nurturing assistance to children and their families to support the child's overall emotional well-being. Do you need someone who can talk to 5-year-old Johnny while he is having an IV inserted? Or, what about someone who can explain her chemotherapy to 14-year-old Linda in language she can understand? Our child life specialists help children and teens know and understand what is going to happen during a procedure. They explain medical procedures on a patient's level and provide distractions, support, opportunities for medical play and model coping techniques. After a child's procedure and during hospitalization, child life specialists offer activities such as movies, games, and arts and crafts to help make the health system become a less intimidating environment. These fun distractions help keep the patient's spirits up, relieve stress and alleviate the sense of isolation children and adolescents sometimes feel during hospitalization.
Reach Out and Read
Since its implementation at Children’s Hospital of Georgia in 2000, this national program has been the catalyst for distributing more than 1,000 books annually to children who are treated in our pediatric practice site. Our pediatricians encourage reading by giving their young patients, ages 6 months to 5 years, a new book during regular checkups.
Wee Wisdom is a series of educational programs for parents of children under 5. Sessions meet every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Family Resource Library on the ground floor of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Topics include: how to select quality child care, child care for children with disabilities, how to spark a child's interest in learning to read and write, establishing a relationship with your baby during the first few critical years of life and preventing serious childhood injuries.
This service is offered to families of children with developmental delays, disabilities and special health concerns. Project Link has three components:
- Community lecture series
- Parent advocates
- Mini-clearinghouse of resources
These services are free and open to the public.
The Dino-Store is an important part of preparing children for surgery because children of all ages find comfort in playing with age-appropriate toys or other items. By selecting a free toy from the Dino-Store, children gain control over a situation where most choices are being made for them. The new toy stays with them throughout their entire hospitalization and then goes home with them. The toy serves as a conversation piece for the doctors and nurses as they continue to build confidence and trust with the child.
The Children’s Hospital of Georgia runs a series of programs for medically or physically challenged children. Camp Rainbow provides a week of horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, ceramics, boating and more for children between 4 and 16 who have cancer or a rare blood disorder. The camp provides the children and teens with opportunities for building confidence, learning independence and improving self-esteem while giving the families a welcome break.
At Children’s Hospital of Georgia and its outpatient practice site, the whole family is a priority. Caring for the informational and emotional needs of the parent and child is an important component of the child's health care plan.
To learn more about our services, go to mcghealth.org/kids.
To make an appointment with one of our pediatric specialists or subspecialists, simply call 706-721-KIDS (5437) or 1-888-721-KIDS, or request an appointment online.