Patient and family-centred care

At The Children's, we pride ourselves on putting the needs of children first. Part of that means taking a system-wide approach to patient and family-centered care.

Patient and family-centered care is based on the belief that the family is a child's primary source of strength and support. Healthcare professionals are the experts on health and disease. Parents are the experts on their child and they can offer essential information to enhance their child's health care. A successful partnership between health care providers and families is based on mutual trust, respect and responsibility.

In patient and family-centered care, professionals acknowledge that involving families in hospital planning, evaluation and policy-making improves children's care. They feel best practices are shaped by families and professionals working together.

The goal of patient and family-centred care is to include families as full partners in children's health care. 

Patient and family-centered care is marked by five guiding principles:


Parents and other family members deserve respect. They love their children and want what is best for them. Accordingly, their choices should be respected together with their values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds.

Information sharing

Families need complete, accurate information in order to make decisions and participate in their children's care. Families have a variety of learning styles and preferences for receiving that information.


Families and professionals alike have expertise and resources that affect children's care. A family knows their child and the family's strengths, needs and circumstances. Professionals offer medical and other technical expertise. Families and professionals can provide the best care for children when they work closely together to care for the child.

Family-to-family support

Families whose children have similar needs can support each other. They can find strength, comfort, friendship, and strategies for coping with difficult situations. Families also support and encourage one another to participate more effectively in health care.

Confidence building

Family-centered programs and services build confidence and augment the skills of parents. In this way, parents become more effective caregivers of their own children, managing their children's care and participating in care at whatever levels they choose.

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