Canuck Place School 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 normalcy for all children
  • a place where each child is viewed as 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 in similar situations to themselves
  • 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 interdisciplinary team (including doctors,  nurses, a bereavement and grief counsellor, music and recreational therapists, a spiritual director, and support staff), the teacher is an integral part of the holistic care children and their families receive while at Canuck Place. 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-nine 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 also eligible for educational support while his/her family is at Canuck Place.

End of life or transition to adult services at 19 years of age.

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