- Family-Centered Care at Children's Hospital
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East Tennessee Children's Hospital >> About Us >> Family-Centered Care

Family-Centered Care

Family-centered care is an approach to pediatric health care that focuses on the family as a child's primary source of strength and support. The philosophy shapes policies, programs, facility design and staff day-to-day practices. It is visible in large and small ways throughout hospitals that adopt the approach. Information sharing and collaboration between families and staff are the cornerstones of family-centered care.

Family-centered health care professionals recognize the vital role families play in ensuring the health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and family members of all ages. They acknowledge emotional, social and developmental support are integral components of health care.

With this approach, family-centered care

  • empowers families and fosters independence;
  • supports family caregiving and decision making;
  • respects family choices;
  • builds on family strengths and
  • involves families in all aspects of the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care services.

The key principles of family-centered care

  • People are treated with dignity and respect.
  • Health care providers communicate and share complete and unbiased information with families in ways that are affirming and useful.
  • Individuals and families build on their strengths by participating in experiences that enhance control and independence.