Family Support Services

Helping kids and parents to cope

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

An unexpected diagnosis can turn a family’s world upside down. In addition to health concerns, there may be financial and psychological worries. Many parents need to take time off work or travel long distances to attend to their child’s medical needs.

Fortunately, donors enable Children’s Hospital Colorado to give families extensive support during these difficult times. We care for the whole child, and our unique programs help the entire family cope with the difficulties that come with a hospitalization, injury or chronic illness.

“The Child Life team was amazing. Whenever I got bored or sad in the hospital, I would call them, and they would bring Legos, games or movies to my room. Even though I was there for a scary reason, everyone tried to make me happy and helped me to forget about that reason. Children’s Hospital Colorado is more than a hospital—it’s your family.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado patient and cancer survivor

Helping families to cope

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 tools and resources they need to support healing.

From the child life specialist who teaches a patient how to swallow pills, to the 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 are rarely covered by health insurance, but we believe they are just as critical to the healing process as the medical care we provide.

Your donations help to reduce stress for families facing unimaginable challenges.

Fueled by giving


Child life specialists


dedicated art studios


social workers on staff

3 ways donors make a difference

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. Our team of child life specialists provides a wide variety of services to reduce anxiety and ensure that families’ psychosocial needs are met. Whether it’s using toy medical equipment to prepare a child for a procedure, teaching breathing exercises to help families relax, or leading siblings through therapeutic play activities, child life specialists alleviate fears and support healing. More recently, with donor support, child life specialists started offering virtual reality gaming systems to distract and reduce pain for patients during difficult procedures. Thanks to you, these helpful services are complimentary for all our patient families.

The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children’s Colorado offers children and families a broad creative palette for healing mind, body and spirit. Our master’s-level creative arts therapists work in tandem with psychiatrists, social workers, caregivers and counselors to help kids get better, faster. With three dedicated art 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. Through creative arts therapy, kids and families experiencing illness, trauma and grief can express themselves, process their experiences and begin to heal.

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 on the Anschutz Medical Campus offers home-like spaces where families can recharge, including a private relaxation room, kitchen/dining area, laundry facilities and rooms 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. Thanks to donors, every patient room comes equipped with a fullsize pullout bed so that families can stay together, plus a flat-screen TV, internet access and on-demand video to distract and entertain. These extra touches mean the world to our patient families, and they’re only possible because of donor support.