Family support

Evie's family at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People

Families of children with life limiting/life threatening conditions are often overwhelmed by the challenge of caring for their children; the complexities of working with many professionals, services and appointments; and the difficulties of maintaining family life and employment.

Rainbows has a multi-disciplinary Family Support team who recognise the specific needs of all family members. We aim to join families on their journey offering holistic support flexibly.

The team facilitate various groups to support families including:

  • Parent/Carer group
  • Dad’s Group
  • Cultural Mums group
  • Young Adult drop in
  • Muscular Dystrophy group
  • Bereaved Parents Group
  • Family Fun Days.

Family Support Workers and Nurses work alongside a family in identifying their needs and how best to provide information and practical support that will really make a difference. Emotional support is a key element that is offered throughout enabling families to talk about their fears and worries and empower them to make decisions about their child’s care. Support continues throughout a child’s life and following their death.

Rainbows has a Psychological and Bereavement Support Coordinator who coordinates the psychological support of families which may include counselling.

Sibling support is offered to all brothers and sisters aged 5 to 18 of children/young people who use Rainbows. It is an opportunity to have fun and meet others in a similar situation. It will also allow them to obtain information and share experiences, providing opportunities to speak to others who will have an understanding of their situation and the problems they face. Our Sibling Support Worker also works individually with children often at school or their home to explore their thoughts and feelings on the impact of living with a sibling with a life limiting condition. They also offers bereavement support.

Our Cultural Link Worker works across the organisation to ensure the services provided are culturally appropriate. They work directly with families both individually and also in a bi-annual monthly ‘Cultural Mums Group’. She is a resource to the care team with regard to specific cultural needs.

Rainbows also has a Spiritual Support Worker who provides and co-ordinates spiritual care and support to families and is a resource to Rainbows on spiritual issues.

Our Social Worker offers specialist social work support to families as well as being a resource to the rest of the hospice teams. The support may include liaising with Social Care services as well as benefit and grant support.

Outreach Play and Music Therapy are also available to visit families at home or in hospital. This work is focused and supports a particular individual need of a child/young person.

Rainbows Youth Worker offers flexible specialist youth work services to young people aged 11+. This involves both activities and support and may occur at the hospice or outreach.