Canuck Place School Program

Provincial Resource Program
Student Group:
Special Education

Canuck Place offers a school program to the school aged children (K-12) from all across B.C. who are on the Canuck Place program.

Program Objectives

The desired outcome is to provide the normality of a school program for children with life-threatening illnesses who come to Canuck Place for palliative care services. Children are admitted to the hospice for clinical management of pain and other symptoms, counselling support, respite care, end-of-life care and/or transition from BC Children's Hospital to home. Families (parents and siblings) can stay in one of four family suites in the hospice while their child is admitted.

The goals of the school program are to provide:

  • a sense of normality for all children
  • a place where each child is viewed as another student rather than as  someone with an illness
  • distractions from illness
  • opportunities for children on a respite program or siblings to keep up with their school work so that they are not behind when they return to their regular school
  • opportunities for children with life-threatening illnesses to connect and learn with other children who also have these illnesses
  • children receiving end-of-life care with the connection to life that school gives them

Canuck Place offers a school program to the school aged children (K-12) from all across B.C. who are on the Canuck Place program.

As a member of the CP interdisciplinary team (including doctors, nurses, a social worker, a bereavement and grief counsellor, music an recreational therapists, a spiritual director, and support staff), the teacher is able to glean and provide information to enhance the holistic care for children and their families provided while at CP. The teacher is also able to share information and insights with the appropriate school and community partners to enhance care in the regular school and the community

Referral Process

Children with life-threatening illness and/or not expected to live into full adulthood. Each individual case is reviewed by the interdisciplinary team. Twenty days of respite per year is offered to each child in addition to pain and symptom management and/or end of life care as needed. Once a child is on the program, his/her siblings of school age are eligible for educational support while his/her family is at Canuck Place.

Exit Criteria and Follow up

Death or transition to adult services at 19 years of age.