The Children of Bellevue, a non-profit organization, has been there supporting children and families for nearly 68 years. We rely on a combination of grants and fundraising to deliver life changing services and programs to over 16,000 children a year. Toast to the Children is the largest fundraising event that helps support the plethora of programs – for tickets to this year’s event visit our website or if you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of our Toast2Children Blog posts, we’ll be highlighting one of these programs/services each week.
In the early 1970s, Children of Bellevue established the Child Life Department at Bellevue Hospital – the second CLD in the country. The CLD is staffed with child life specialists that are experts in child development, who promote effective coping through play, preparation, education and self-expression activities. Health care experiences and treatments due to illness, injury or psychological trauma can be as unsettling and scary as the condition itself for children and teens.
Child life specialists provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children and adolescents facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to health care and hospitalization.
Understanding that a child’s well being depends on the support of the family, child life specialists provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating providers, administrators and the general public about the needs of children and adolescents under stress. The American Academy of Pediatrics calls Child Life services an essential component of pediatric care.
Programs offered within the CLD include: Impatient Pediatric Ward, Pediatric Emergency Services, Specialty Clinics, Ambulatory Surgery/Pre-Hospitalization, Play Screening, The Early Learning Group, and Adolescent Prenatal Parenting.