Family Support Services

Helping families to cope

Here, we believe that healing goes far beyond treating a disease

We know that kids need to play, learn and connect, even while they’re in our care. That’s why we offer support services that bring a sense of calm and normalcy to an otherwise stressful situation. Our unique programs – like child life and art therapy — help the entire family cope with the difficulties that come with a hospitalization, injury or chronic illness.

Your generosity ensures that our patients and families have access to the support they need to heal.

Ralph is Children’s Hospital Colorado’s first full-time Medical Dog. He helps kids heal and cope with the stress that comes with a hospital stay. With the support of his handler, Kizzy Marco, Ralph can help anxious children to take their medications or to hold still during difficult procedures. It’s just one of many support services made possible by donors.

Helping families to cope

Having a child in the hospital can turn a family’s world upside down. Fortunately, donors enable Children’s Colorado to give families extensive support during these difficult times.

Children’s Colorado is a national leader in the breadth of support services and therapies we offer, along with the holistic integration of these programs into a child’s care plan. This approach ensures that a patient’s psychological needs are met and that families have the resources they need to support healing.

From a child life specialist who teaches a patient how to swallow pills, to a clinical social worker helping a mom to manage short-term needs like groceries and gas, we are there for families when they need us the most. These services aren’t covered by health insurance, but we believe they are just as critical to the healing process as the medical care we provide.

Your donation reduces stress for families who face unimaginable medical challenges.

Fueled by giving


Child life specialists


Art therapy experiences every week


Social workers on staff

3 ways donors make a difference

1. Reducing stress and anxiety

The Child Life Program helps children and their families cope with the stress and fear that comes with a medical procedure, diagnosis, injury or hospitalization. Whether it’s using toy medical equipment to prepare a child for a procedure or leading siblings through therapeutic play activities, child life specialists reduce anxiety and support healing. Thanks to you, these helpful services are complimentary for families.

2. Harnessing the healing power of art

The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program helps kids and families experiencing illness, trauma and grief to express themselves, process their experiences and begin to heal. With three dedicated studios and two gallery spaces, the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program engages patients through music, dance movement, yoga and art. And thanks to donors, the program is expanding to serve patients at more of our care locations.

3. Providing a Home Away from Home

Some kids have to spend weeks — or even months — in the hospital. That’s why we’re grateful to donors who enable us to provide many of the comforts of home to patient families. For example, our Family Resource Center offers a kitchen/dining area, laundry facilities and 19 respite rooms throughout the hospital where families can stay overnight. We have playrooms on every floor, and the Patricia Crown Family T(w)een Zone gives older kids a 3,000-square-foot hangout space packed with games and activities. These extra touches mean the world to our patients.