It is important for children with cancer and blood disorders to continue their emotional and social development both during and after their treatment. At Valerie Fund Children’s Center at Atlantic Health System Children's Health, we provide counseling services and educational and recreational programs.
Our counseling programs address the emotional needs of patients and their families – an approach that ultimately enhances treatment and the prospect of recovery. Licensed clinical social workers, nurses and child life specialists provide individual and group counseling and offer assistance in finding valuable community resources. Counseling services offered at our centers include:
- Parent Support Groups – informal meetings held by the social worker that cater to the needs of parents with an ill child
- Sibling Support Groups – psycho-social program for patients’ siblings to obtain peer support and education in a recreational setting
- Individual Counseling – appointments with social workers are available to both patients and families
- Pediatric Behavioral Medicine – Individual and group family counseling for kids with chronic illnesses
School Re-Entry Program
Our team assists children who are preparing to return to school by visiting their classroom and educating their fellow students and teachers about cancer treatment and its side effects. Our goal is to dispel myths, reintroduce the child to school as a student rather than a patient, and establish communication among all parties – the school, health care team, patient and his or her parents. We can also tailor learning sessions to meet the needs of each patient, as well as set up home instruction.
Hospital Tutor Program
We help patients staying at Goryeb Children’s Hospital keep up with their regular classroom curriculum. Every student working with an Education Inc. teacher will receive full attendance credit for each day they work. Our goal is to assist the student not only in the hospital, but also through the transition home or to another facility.
Camp Happy Times (CHT)
This free, one-week camp is for children ages five through 21 who have cancer or are cancer survivors. CHT helps these children make new friends, develop independence and confidence and learn cooperation skills. What’s more, many of the camp counselors are cancer survivors themselves, so campers are always surrounded by those who understand their condition.
CHT is held at Tyler Hill Camp, located on 200 scenic acres in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, and is fully accredited by the American Camping Association. It is well-equipped for fun and games, featuring a lake, pool, golf, tennis and basketball courts, a climbing tower with a zip line, an indoor hockey rink, and arts and crafts facilities. The infirmary is staffed 24 hours a day, so children who are still undergoing treatment can enjoy the camp.