The CARE 4 Kids Program
The Island Kids Cancer Associations CARE 4 Kids program strives to strengthen family connections and let kids be kids. By providing personal connection, individual support and linkages to community programs we aim to transform each child’s experience from anxiety and isolation to one of support and hope.
A cancer diagnosis is devastating, no matter your age. For children and families a sense of pervasive isolation can make things even harder. In addition to social programs and outings we work closely with community organizations such as Jeneece Place, Power To Be and the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence to develop programs that focus on the health and happiness of the whole family.
Simple steps can make a big difference. We support children during treatment by making sure the Child Life specialist has a cupboard full of toys, games, arts and crafts to help keep kids busy during long chemotherapy appointments. We stock the clinic with healthy snacks for the child and parents and provide lunch passes so parents can keep up their energy during long days at the hospital.
Navigating the medical system can be difficult. Our priority is to develop a series of resources so children and parents can access the services and information they need.
We will build a stronger network of supports to aid families during this critical time that will include connections to counselling, education, therapy and community programs. Our family liaison provides a caring ear and helps families forge links with the services they need.
As time passes, we aim to keep childhood survivors and families in touch through survivorship networks, sharing news and information, and building the vital personal connections children need to flourish.
Whether a child needs to be transferred to Vancouver at short notice or a medical situation needs urgent attention, families often struggle with unexpected expenses. We provide emergency gas and grocery cards to ensure that families’ immediate needs are met so they can focus on their child.
When further treatment is no longer an option, our angels and their families are given individualized care according to their unique situation and needs.
Building a strong program to aid families who have lost a child by providing special programs and counselling resources is a key priority this year.