A diagnosis of childhood cancer is despairing to the children and their families. They have to cope with emotional distress while struggling in adjusting to a new pattern of life. The Foundation endeavours to provide the best counselling services to those affected. The newly diagnosed patients are referred by the attending doctors to our Child Life Service team, aiming to enhance the psychosocial functioning of the patients and their families, helping them to understand their illnesses and treatment plans and preparing them for the treatment process.
New cases are also being referred to our Patient Care and Community Service Team, providing Family Counselling Service to help patients and families to have a better understanding of their illnesses and treatments, providing psychosocial and financial support, if needed.
Families can also call out hotline for assistance and to find out the services and support that we can provide.
Our child life specialists strive to empower the patients to cope with their illnesses and treatments through play, preparation, relaxation and self-expressive activities. We work closely with the children's families and medical teams to provide a family-oriented support throughout the whole journey.
When a child is being diagnosed with cancer, the family life and livelihood could be largely disrupted, and it also affects the mental well-being of the parents and family members. Social workers from our Patient Care and Community Service Team, providing Family Counselling Service to support and assist them in facing the sudden changes and challenges. We also provide financial assistance to families in need such as transportation subsidies, emergency funds, half-way home and rehabilitation bus services, when needed. Through our Drug Sponsorship Programme, we sponsor self-financed drugs that are not under the HA Drug Formulary or the Safety Net for patients from low-income family.
We also organise Support Groups for patients with similar diagnoses so that the parents can exchange information
and share experiences for mutual encouragement and support.
Surviving childhood cancer, the road to recovery is long and winding. The late effects may affect children’s learning abilities, appearance, physique and social life, resulting in low confidence and self-esteem. Our professional Patient Care and Community Service Team helps to alleviate these impacts through the Survivor Potential Development programme. A series of programmes are also held in our centres and in the community to improve young cancer survivors’ adaptability, cultivate their interests, explore their strengths and potentials, and develop their talents beyond the academic horizon.
We also provide Integrated Education & Learning Enhancement Service with customised transitional classes for children to adapt to school life and catch up with the curriculum. It also provides an opportunity for them to re-establish social life to bolster their confidence in returning to their normal schooling.
In addition, the CCF Families’ Club organises regular educational and recreational activities to enhance cohesion, resilience and support among families. This also helps us understand and identify the priority concerns of these families.
Caring for children with life-limiting conditions, the pressures on the families are extreme. Our Children’s Palliative Care Foundation’s professional team led by registered nurses and social workers aim to improve the quality of life of patients and their families, addressing their physical, psychosocial or spiritual needs.
When patients are near the end of life, our focus is to help children and their families to live as well and fully as possible through our holistic care. We work closely with healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses to provide the best possible care for the patients and to ensure their families and carers are well supported throughout that stage and beyond.
The death of a child brings tremendous grief, not only to the parents, but to all members of the family. Some families are not able to function normally due to the loss of a child. Through our Bereavement Care Service, the Foundation intervenes on different aspects to help families move forward. These include assisting families to deal with funerals, providing individual and family-based bereavement counselling, therapeutic groups, etc.
The unique experience of a bereaved family can be transformed into motivation to help others. CCF’s Bereavement Club reaches out to these families and organises activities regularly to foster mutual support along their journey of grief.