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Spiritual Care Services


Encouragement, Hope, Peace and Comfort

A child’s illness and hospitalization can be one of the most difficult times for any family. At Valley Children’s we know attending to the spiritual and emotional needs of children and families is an important part of the healing process. Valley Children’s Spiritual Care Services offers this care to individuals of all faith traditions and those who follow no traditional faith. 

Our family-centered and culturally sensitive approach to spiritual care meets the needs of patients and families as well as members of our staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chaplains and volunteers provide spiritual care in the form of prayers or blessings, religious and cultural rites, and traditions observing personal religious practices. Some patients and families only need a 15-minute visit for a prayer prior to undergoing surgery, while others may need two hours to cope with a difficult diagnosis, or worse yet, the loss of a child.

The Spiritual Care Services team is composed of chaplains, volunteers and community spiritual leaders. Our chaplains are specially trained clergy members who have the experience and understanding to reach across faith group boundaries. They can provide or arrange sacraments, rituals and prayers of many traditions in the hospital setting. Chaplains also serve as mediators and reconcilers, and provide a communication bridge between patients, family members, institutions, spiritual leaders and staff.

An Increasing Need for Philanthropic Support

Valley Children’s has seen a considerable increase in spiritual care services requests during the past few years. The current demand is expected to more than double with expanded hours and additional chaplains – from 5,300 patient/family contacts annually to nearly 12,000. On any given day Valley Children’s may manage as many as 250 children on our inpatient floors or up to 400 cases in our emergency department, or perform over 75 surgeries or more than 300 diagnostic imaging studies. These numbers are growing as well. 

Valley Children’s currently provides spiritual care through a combination of regular staff, per diem, student and volunteer chaplains. The total combined hours this group provides is equivalent to 2.5 full-time chaplains. However, sometimes the demand for these services exceeds current staffing levels.

Philanthropy is the only source of revenue directly supporting this vital program. Spiritual Care Services are not reimbursable by insurance and Valley Children’s does not receive local, state or federal support for them.

Therefore, to meet current and future spiritual needs of patients and families, Valley Children’s is reaching out to concerned individuals as well as corporate and private foundations to raise both current operating support and permanent program endowment. This will enable us to expand our scope of spiritual care and ensure the availability of these services in perpetuity.

How You Can Help

Whether standing by a family to help them answer difficult questions or sitting with them to offer prayer, chaplains provide spiritual care to help patients progress toward healing. Your philanthropic support of Valley Children’s Spiritual Care Services will bring peace and comfort to patients, families and friends, and medical staff engrossed in difficult and often emotional hospital experiences. 

Click here to invest today in the lives of ill and injured kids in the Central Valley.