Chaplain Scott Smith spoke about the Pastoral Care at Nemours Childrens Hospital, there to provide strength and support, or just a friendly ear, to families facing some of their most difficult times. The Chaplain and his interdenominational team make daily rounds visiting patients and families, play games with kids, offer counseling, perform rites and host a 24/7 nondenominational Chapel for respite, prayer and meditation. They work with local spiritual leaders to provide religious support for families of all faiths. He spoke of the staff’s calling to work with families who could be receiving joyous results, and families facing the loss of a child. We discussed how they work to build relationships with families, from the start, religious or not, so they can be an honest, trusted ‘friend’ when difficult decisions have to be made or bad news is coming. He discussed the paths to ‘grieving well’ and how the pastoral, medical and Child Life staff help families who are processing the loss of an imagined future or the death of their child.
Pastoral Care, like the Child Life programming, is part of the Patient and Family Services Department, and supported by the amazing donations of listeners to the WJBR Help Our Kids Radiothon each year. Your dollars help fund the services and direct care that allow patients to just be ‘kids’ during treatment and families to receive respite and support.
To learn more about Pastoral Care and all the support programming available at Nemours visit NEMOURS.org