Patients and their families at Children’s have basic and extraordinary mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and we have many services available to meet them, including:
Child life services
Kids are not just tiny adults. That’s why Children's is different than adult facilities in so many ways, including all of the exciting child life programming we offer that is geared toward even our smallest patients and their caregivers and siblings.
Our child life specialists provide life-affirming and life-strengthening care that includes:
- Educating your child about illness, treatment and surgery, in addition to preparing siblings for the hospital visit
- Supporting your child during stressful experiences and procedures
- Encouraging your child to express feelings about illness and treatment through therapeutic activities
- Normalizing the environment through age-appropriate play and group activities
- Helping your child with pain management through distraction and relaxation
- Providing support for siblings and other family members, especially in times of grief and death
Places to play
Child Life specialists help our patients cope with hospital life and their illnesses by giving them chances to play and interact in our activity centers. All three Children’s locations feature activity centers supplied with toys, games and crafts for all ages.
In addition, patients and families at Scottish Rite can visit The Zone, Kohl’s Activity Center or the Strong4Life Teaching Garden.
Seacrest Studios Atlanta at Egleston
Our patients at Egleston hospital can participate in the exciting world of radio and TV broadcasting and even meet some of the world’s most famous musicians, actors and athletes at Seacrest Studios Atlanta at Egleston, the first broadcast media center ever opened by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
Learn more about Seacrest Studios
Our chaplains are trained to respond to the spiritual needs of patients in the hospital setting. They provide spiritual support and guidance to patients and families as they seek healing, meaning and hope in the face of illness or injury.
Chaplains share their responsibilities by rotating roles throughout the week to make sure someone is available for spiritual support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They make rounds with caregivers, sit quietly at a patient’s bedside or respond to traumas in the Emergency Department. They also perform interfaith worship services in the hospital chapels.
Support at profound times
Chaplains are often called upon to be with families in their moments of greatest joy and deepest sadness. They celebrate baptisms, blessings, recoveries and birthdays with families. They provide bereavement support, conduct funerals and memorial services and may help families talk through the delicate subject of organ/tissue/eye donation.
When to call a chaplain
Our chaplains are here to help. Consider calling a chaplain when you:
- Need assistance contacting your clergy or representative of your faith tradition
- Are struggling to make sense out of what is happening
- Need a Bible or religious literature
- Need prayer or other religious rituals such as anointing, baptism, infant dedication, communion or other ritual unique to your faith tradition
- Are facing a new diagnosis, surgery or a significant change in the plan of care
- Feel isolated or lonely
- Are facing ethical decisions
- Are grieving a loss or death
Chapel locations, contact information and service times
Chapel at Egelston
Chapel at Scottish Rite
Clinical pastoral education
If you have inquiries regarding our Clinical Pastoral Education program, please contact Reverend Martha Wright or 404-785-0352. If you're mailing an application, please mail it, along with $60, to:
1001 Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Payment may be made via credit card by calling 404-785-3996.
Download the CPE application
Family Mentor Program
The Family Mentor Program matches families facing new or challenging medical experiences with trained, veteran parents.
Mentors share information and coping skills to help families reduce stress and manage their child’s healthcare in a positive way. They’re trained to provide support, modeling, suggestions and validation to families.
Mentors may talk with families about:
- Coping strategies
- Managing medical care at home
- Parenting in a hospital setting
- Obtaining and managing information during hospitalization
- Coordinating family life before, during and after hospitalization
Mentor requirements Mentors are parents who have been identified as effectively managing the healthcare of their own children and are required to:
- Submit an application and letter of support from the healthcare provider most familiar with their child’s care.
- Interview with Family Mentor Program committee members.
- Complete a background check.
- Attend a training session.
Mentor program service areas
The Family Mentor Program is still growing and isn’t yet available to all service areas at Children’s. The program is currently established in the following areas:
- Cardiac Services
- Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU)
- Technology Intensive Care Unit (TICU)
- Inpatient Rehab
- Outpatient Rehab
- Sickle Cell
Getting a mentor
If you’re interested in receiving mentor services please contact a Family Mentor Program liaison listed below:
Cheryl McCarthy or Charlotte Eaddy
Outpatient Rehabilitation - Cochlear Implants
Outpatient Rehabilitation - Feeding Difficulties
The program will continue to expand to additional service areas.
Located in Egleston and Scottish Rite hospitals, our family libraries contain a wealth of consumer health information and recreational reading materials we have available.
All of our services are free. In addition to educational materials, we provide communication assistance and recreational materials such as puzzles, books, board games and more.
What we offer
- Consumer health books
- Customized medical information searches
- Models and charts of the human body
- Reference materials
- Spanish materials
- More than 2,000 consumer health books, videos and DVDs
- Computers with Internet access and word processing capabilities
- Copier, fax machine, notary and printers
- Digital camera check-out (inpatient use only)
- A laptop program that provides laptops to patients and their families for check out after a seven-day hospital stay (Egleston only)
You can add to what you learn at our family libraries by consulting MedlinePlus, the National Institutes of Health’s website that offers reliable, up-to-date health information about diseases, conditions and wellness issues in easy-to-understand language.
Library locations, contact information and hours
Family Library at Egleston
Max Brown Family Resource Library at Scottish Rite
School is a big part of every child’s life. The School Program at Children’s supports your child’s educational needs by continuing the learning experience in the hospital. Patients are scheduled for school as soon as they are medically able, and all of our program services are free.
Hospital teachers and classrooms
Our hospital teachers are highly qualified, Georgia-certified educators with previous classroom experience. They are trained in a variety of areas—including elementary, middle, high school and special education—and can help you work with your child's school so that your child doesn’t fall behind. This assistance includes:
- Coordinating assignments with your child's teacher(s)
- Providing instruction
- Sending progress notes to your child's school to show attendance and assignment completion
- Providing information about support and resources available at your child's school, including assistance through a Section 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Plan.
- Providing information to your child's school about how his illness may impact his learning
- Making referrals for home instruction if your child's doctor says that he’s too sick to go back to school for a period of time
Egleston and Scottish Rite each have a schoolroom with state-approved textbooks, computers and other learning tools. At Hughes Spalding, school instruction takes place in the outpatient clinics, patient rooms, or the Family Library.
- Schoolrooms are staffed with teachers and volunteers.
- Bedside instruction may be available to patients who need to remain in their hospital room.
- At all hospitals, the classrooms have computers and access to online textbooks. Parents should bring their child’s assignments and books to the hospital if possible. Teachers can also contact schools to get homework. The child’s school will receive a progress report and attendance note so the child will receive credit for work completed during his or her stay.
Our social workers are vital members of your child’s healthcare team, and their services are essential to delivering healthcare that promotes all dimensions of wellness for patients and their families.
How our social workers can help your family
Social workers at Children’s use their skills in assessment and intervention to provide our families with counseling, education and resources to enhance their coping and well-being with illness or injury. Our social workers can:
- Support you and your family as you learn to cope with your child’s illness or injury
- Give you support during times of grief and loss
- Address language and cultural concerns
- Plan patient care conferences between your family and the medical team
- Discuss any concerns about your child’s safety and protection
- Plan for your child’s discharge from the hospital
- Find resources to help pay for your child’s medicines
- Arrange transportation to and from the hospital
- Teach you about community agencies that provide ongoing services for financial, insurance, legal, mental health and other needs
- Provide information about Advance Directives, which allow patients 18 years and older to make valid, legal choices about their future medical care
Interpreting and translation services
Children’s has a highly qualified, certified team of interpreters and translators who work with doctors, nurses, family service personnel and other healthcare team members. These specialists serve as advocates for our patients and their families, and help them with:
- Treatment plans
- Medical consent forms
- Other communication needs
- Spanish and other foreign language interpreters
- Phone interpreters
- Sign language interpreter
- Written translations
- Cultural resource support
We also use Pacific Interpreters, a telephone service that is available 24 hours a day and provides interpretation in more than 150 different languages.
Children's Canines For Kids
Children's Canines For Kids animal assisted therapy program helps ease anxiety and promotes shorter recovery times. Canine Assistants trains our service dogs to provide therapy, hope and healing by doing everything from giving loving support during chemotherapy treatments to offering comforting snuggles before surgery. Children's also partners with outside service animal companies who often visit our hospitals. Patients are notified when we have these furry visitors so that they may interact with them if they choose to.
Learn more about a day in the life of a hospital therapy dog
Learn more about Canine Assistants