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.