Refer a Child

How to refer a child to Canuck Place

referring a child to canuck place referring a child to canuck place

About Canuck Place

At Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, we care for children living with life-threatening illnesses and the families who love them. The term child encompasses pre-birth (families in the prenatal stage) to the age of 19. In some instances, a young adult diagnosed with a pediatric condition, and/or followed by pediatric specialists, could be considered a child for the Canuck Place program. Learn more about how and when you should refer a child to Canuck Place.

canuck place referral

Why refer a child to Canuck Place?

When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness the Canuck Place program provides specialized expertise and services for the uncertain patient and family healthcare journey. Our interdisciplinary team collaborates with families to provide person and family-centered care approach. We value choice, and honest, compassionate communication. Our services are provided as a continuum of care across all ages, stages of the illness/condition, and inclusive of bereavement support. These include:

  • providing care that focuses on the whole child (physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs)
  • alleviating suffering from a serious illness, managing pain and complex symptoms
  • helping the family and healthcare team(s) to clarify goals and match them to values and treatment options
  • working together with primary care providers, community team members, and specialists
  • guiding family and healthcare team(s) with enhanced communication for difficult and complex treatment decisions
  • supporting all family members inclusive of extended family and siblings
canuck place refer a child

Referral Process

If you believe a child is appropriate for the Canuck Place program, call 604-742-3476 or toll-free in BC at 1-877-882-2288 ext. 3476 to speak with an intake nurse. You can also email [email protected].

For urgent referrals, please call the nursing station at 604-742-3475 or request the Palliative Care physician through BC Children’s hospital paging system at 604-875-2161

We accept referrals from all members of a child’s care team (medical and non-medical), family members, friends, or self-referrals. The family should be aware of and consent to the referral. All of Canuck Place services are available at no cost to families.


Bereavement referrals canuck place

Bereavement referrals

A child’s illness progresses along a continuum—and includes bereavement, if needed. We support children and families through the entire care continuum. To request a consultation for bereavement services, families can contact us directly at [email protected].


canuck place parents receiving guidance

Decision-making process

Once a week, Canuck Place reviews referrals. The important factor for our program is the presence of a progressive, life-threatening illness.

We consider if the child has a high likelihood of dying before adulthood, if quality of life is negatively affected, and the impact on caregivers. We also consider the child’s current health condition in the context of known populations in the field of pediatric palliative care.

Learn more about the decision making process

Re Referrals canuck place


When a child’s health condition doesn’t fit our program, the intake nurse will share the decision with the parents and the person who made the referral. Because status and conditions can change, a child can be re-referred.

We don’t just provide respite care, but focus on the challenges that children and families face with a progressive, life-threatening illness. Increasing decline and changes to a health status are a consideration for acceptance. This means a child with high care needs may not be accepted to our program if their overall condition is fairly stable.

What to expect on our program

Each family is unique. We adapt our approach depending on the child and family’s goals of care, the child’s health condition and trajectory of illness (known and unknown), and location of care. We normalize what families are going through by focusing on moments that matter.

On our program, families can expect:
  • Person-centred care
  • Quality of life
  • Caring for the whole family

Questions? Find an answer here.

We recognize you may have a lot of questions. See the answers to our FAQs below.

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How can you help?

There are so many ways to give. You can support complex care for children with life-threatening illnesses and families in BC and the Yukon. With your help, Canuck Place will support them in living the end of life as fully as the beginning.