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Family-Centered Care

Family-centered care recognizes the integral role of the family in the health and well being of the pediatric patient. Implementing a family-centered care approach may require significant philosophical, practice, and environmental changes within the emergency medicine culture.


Family-Centered Care is a mutually collaborative health care effort between family, patient and provider(s) that helps achieve the best possible outcome for a child experiencing a medical emergency.

The foundation of family-centered care is the working partnership between families, patient and providers.  The relationship is built on the following:

• Mutual respect for the knowledge, skills and expertise brought to the relationship.
• Trust is acknowledged as fundamental.
• Communication and information sharing are open and objective.
• Participants make decisions together.
• There is a willingness to negotiate.

Based on this partnership, a family-centered care policy will:

• Acknowledge the family as the constant in a child's life.
• Build on family strengths
• Support the child in learning about and participating in their care  
• Honor cultural diversity and family traditions.
• Recognize the importance of community-based services.

• Promote an individual and developmental approach.

• Encourage family-to-family and peer support. 

• Acknowledge existing patient care plans co-authored by the child's family and physician

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