Our Program

A children’s hospice differs from an adult hospice. Not only do we offer end-of-life care, but we work with families throughout the entire span of a child’s life; from the point of diagnosis and progression of illness, to death and beyond.

Family Journey Map


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As British Columbia’s recognized pediatric palliative care provider under Child Health BC Tiers of Service Framework, we provide comprehensive services for children with complex and sometimes daunting medical challenges. This active and total approach to care requires solid programs, specialized services, and dedicated staff.

Our programs include medical and nursing care, recreational therapy, counselling, and provincial care and outreach.

Clinical Care

The care of children is our top priority.

We offer a 24/7 continuum of care to children and families staying in-house, as well as an extensive outreach program to meet an ever-increasing demand for services throughout the province of BC. Our clinical staff, physicians and pharmacists are experts in the field of pediatric palliative care. Individuals with a strong sense of purpose and a shared commitment to patient care, they provide loving and dignified palliative and end-of-life care to children and families throughout BC.

The vast majority of our operating funds are allocated to medical and nursing care; and for good reason. We take great pride in knowing we are doing all we can to alleviate the pain and suffering of a child, and helping to manage complex symptoms so they may live their best life possible.

Respite Care

Rest, renewal and support.

Respite and family support is an essential component to our pediatric palliative care program. We offer 24-hour in-house clinical care on a temporary basis for children with or without their families. Respite allows children the opportunity to receive clinical care for complex illnesses, pain and symptom management, recreation therapy and counselling, and offers families much-needed rest, renewal and support. Through multiple respite stays, our team gets to know the children and families on our program over a period of time, providing first-hand knowledge of their evolving symptoms, and an increased awareness of complex needs and required support. Our respite care program allows us to help children and families make the most of the time they have left.

Nursing Phone Support

Just a phone call away.

At Canuck Place, we know caring for children with a progressive life-threatening illness can be complex and daunting for the families who love them. Our 24 hour phone line lets them know they are not alone. Accessible to families and caregivers, who are registered on our program, at no charge 24 hours a day, our clinical staff provide answers to questions ranging from the everyday care of a child, to complex issues surrounding medications, pain and symptom management, and end-of-life support. This service is also available to care professionals in BC communities who need pediatric palliative care consultation support.

Our 24 hour phone line, a valuable communication tool, ensures our specialized knowledge and support is accessible at all times, resulting in peace of mind for families, fewer emergency room visits, and better care for the children we serve.

Recreation Therapy

Live in the moment.

Our Recreational Therapy Program is a key component to helping families live in the moment. Our goal is to help children celebrate the everyday experience of being a child, providing opportunities for connection, excitement and fun!

Our recreational therapists, supported by family and peer volunteers, facilitate a variety of activities on and off-site throughout the year. These include community outings in our specially-equipped vehicles, annual camps, and numerous special events. We also offer daily recreational options through our fully accessible play areas of the hospice and play therapy rooms.

Love in the moment.

An important service offered by our recreational therapists is our Memory Making Program. Hand and foot sculptures, finger print necklaces and photos are facilitated by our recreational therapists during that crucial time when a child is nearing the end of life. These mementos capture love in the moment, becoming sacred objects for bereaved families following the death of a child, and tangible memories of a life lived.

Through cherished memories, shared experiences and sacred mementos, we empower children and families to build precious memories together

Counselling

Finding the courage to face the unknown.

The illness and death of a child is a life-altering experience. The complex and ever-changing emotional, spiritual and psychosocial needs can seem insurmountable and overwhelming to children, and the family members who love them. Our counsellors understand this, and are trained to help families cope with the most challenging situations.

Our counselling programs include music and play therapy, one-on-one and family counselling, bereavement and spiritual care counselling and social work. We also provide opportunities for community connection through support groups, camps, and annual events.

We take a client-centred approach, respecting the child and family’s wishes and building on innate strengths in order to help them adjust to each stage of the illness and beyond. We empower them to make difficult decisions, and offer self-care tools, advocacy, compassion and support.

Our bereavement services helps families rebuild their lives following the devastating loss of their beloved child. We help them find the courage to face one of life’s most unimaginable events, and we walk with them through that most profound path of bereavement and loss, honouring each in their unique journey.

Through our counselling programs, we offer our hands and hearts to the families we serve; helping them find hope in the midst of despair, and letting them know they are not alone.

End of Life Care

Loving support along a life-altering path.

The end-of-life transition is a profound and heart-wrenching experience for children and the families who love them. Our team recognizes this, and works collaboratively to ensure the final wishes and needs of each child and family are met in the weeks and days leading up to the end-of-life, and beyond. This involves helping family members make difficult decisions around end-of-life plans, and addressing pain management, emotional and spiritual care needs. We offer heartfelt guidance and compassionate support in order to help make this sacred and profound transition as gentle as possible for each child and family we are honoured to serve.

Education & Art

The opportunity to thrive.

Through our school program and arts and crafts activities, we encourage children to develop and thrive. Our full-time school teacher and educational assistant offer daily lessons in our school room for children and siblings staying in-house. By providing opportunities for self-expression, knowledge and growth, we are helping children live life to the fullest, and offering a sense of normalcy for families during times of change, upheaval, and fear of the unknown.

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