HO HO HO!
December 21, 2016
Children worry when a parent gets sick. They want to know if they caused it or if they will get sick, too. The Child Life "CAPES" program (Children of Adult Patients Enduring Stressors) is 100% community supported and provides free comprehensive psychosocial support services for children of patients cared for by the Harris Health System, especially those with life-altering diagnoses. It is difficult enough for parents to come to terms with a life-altering diagnosis, let alone have the conversation with their children.
Through CAPES, child life specialists help patients with various diagnoses identify the family’s needs and work to promote positive coping by using accurate, easy-to-understand, non-threatening and age-appropriate information. Their goal is to equip parents with knowledge by providing educational resources and therapeutic activities that address typical questions and responses.
CAPES takes child life specialists beyond a hospital’s walls. Started by an oncologist from M.D. Anderson Hospital, Harris Health’s program at Lyndon B. Johnson and Ben Taub hospitals, Smith Clinic, and Harris Health Outpatient Center is part of an emerging trend in healthcare that aims to care for the holistic needs of patients.