If your child has been diagnosed with a potentially life-limiting illness, the Partners in Care (PIC) program can help with medical, emotional, and spiritual challenges. Your Primary Care Physician and Specialists will still provide curative care - care designed to cure or improve your child’s condition using medication, surgery, or other treatments.
The PIC program provides something different called palliative care. “Palliative” means to ease pain and unpleasant symptoms while improving quality of life for your child and family. Care includes medical and nursing consultations, supportive counseling, and art and music therapy.
Palliative care focuses on life and living. Some children’s special health care needs cause unnecessary pain or unwanted side effects that prevent them from enjoying life to the fullest. We provide nursing visits in your home to assess your child’s needs. If necessary, a PIC pediatrician makes home visits and can prescribe medication to help your child feel better.
Stress and anxiety often accompany heath care problems and can affect the entire family. Trained counselors and chaplains will talk with you about ways to cope with the pressures of caregiving. You may not even realize that you can benefit from talking to someone about these issues, but help is available for your whole family.
Volunteers may provide an extra set of helping hands around the house. Others can give your child some special one-on-one attention by playing games or reading books. Perhaps other children in your family could benefit from time with a volunteer. At your request, we will find a volunteer who can provide what you need. Every volunteer receives special training and a background check before they visit you or any family member.
Art is another way we can use your child’s natural creativity to help with learning, development and emotional needs. Our art therapists are trained to work with children who need extra help expressing their feelings. The simple act of drawing or scribbling may help reduce stress. Different artistic projects may be created for your child’s developmental needs. Most parents agree that these special therapies are a great benefit to their child and notice positive results after the therapy.
Our music therapists have studied how music can help children of all ages and abilities. Some may use music to learn skills, to speak, or to communicate with others. The music therapist might design a special intervention to relax or comfort your child. Sometimes, children might be encouraged to help make music by using their voice, hands, arms or legs. There are many ways that music may improve your child’s quality of life. We can design a special program just for them.
To qualify for the Partners in Care program, your child must be:
- enrolled in the Children’s Medical Services Network (CMSN)
- under 21 years of age
- diagnosed by a doctor as having a potentially life-limiting condition, and
- reside in Hardee, Glades or Lee counties
Children’s Medical Services coordinates the program and will help you enroll so you can start receiving help as soon as possible. If you have questions about Partners in Care, please call CMS at 239-433-6723. Care and services are provided by a partnership between the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Health - Children’s Medical Services, and Hope HealthCare Services.