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Recognizing October as Family-Centered Care Month

Published on Oct. 05, 2020

Collage of different families

No one knows your child better than you do. NO one. That’s why everyone at Valley Children’s – from surgeons to social workers and nurses to respiratory therapists – is committed to working with patients and families to care for their child, rather than just doing “to” or “for” them.  That’s the heart of Patient and Family-Centered Care.

What is Patient and Family-Centered Care?

Patient and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) is a collaborative approach in which patients and families work with their child's care team in a mutually beneficial relationship that supports their child's care and decision making. This approach goes beyond being courteous in interactions with patients and families. This approach is the compass that helps our care delivery, decision making and patient experience.

There are core concepts from the Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care, which Valley Children's Healthcare values.

During your experience at Valley Children’s…

You and your family will be treated with respect and dignity.

The care teams and staff at Valley Children’s recognize the unique needs of each patient and family and tailors their approach to meet these needs, choices and preferences. The expertise, religious and cultural preferences of each patient family are valued in all aspects of their child's care.

For example: Upon entering a patient’s room, your child’s physician takes the time to learn the names of the patient’s family members instead of referring to them as “Mom” and “Dad.”

You will have timely and easy-to-understand information about your child and their care plan.

The key to Patient and Family-Centered Care is good communication. We want you to have easy-to-understand and complete information about your child’s care plan throughout their treatment. We want families to ask questions when something is unclear and when we can improve.

For example: All members of the care team share information in a way that you can understand and language and interpretive services are available, if needed.

We create a supportive and safe environment for you and your child to partner in every part of care.

Patients and families are welcomed and supported to participate in care and decision making at the level they choose.

For example: Every staff member who meets your family creates the space for you to openly share your perspective, insights in the development of care plans and your experience.

We create opportunities for parents to participate in various councils, projects and initiatives. We value your perspective in everything we do.

At Valley Children’s, we work in collaboration with our Family Advisory Council which is comprised of parents who have experienced care at our facilities. Their feedback and ideas have created many initiatives here with the patient in the center. 

Some Ways We Model Patient and Family-Centered Care

Along with the high-quality care that Valley Children's provides patients and families, we offer various resources that demonstrate this approach, including:

  • Patient and Family Services
  • Interpreter Services
  • Child Life
  • Spiritual Care
  • Case Management
  • Family Advisory Council
  • George's Pass Program
  • Family-Centered Rounding

When the Patient and Family-Centered Care approach is implemented into all aspects of a patient's care plan, it results in better health outcomes, improved patient experience, better clinician and staff satisfaction and wiser allocation of resources.

What You Can Do If You Are Not Receiving Patient and Family-Centered Care

If you feel you aren't receiving the Patient and Family-Centered Care you and your family deserve, there are resources available for you to seek support:

  • If you are at a hospital or clinic, ask to speak to a charge nurse or practice manager.
  • Ask to speak with a patient representative or social worker. 
  • Complete a patient satisfaction survey.

For more information about resources available for our patients and their families, please visit