Patient & Family Centered Care

The Children's Hospital of Michigan recognizes the vital role that families play in ensuring the health and well-being of infants, children, and adolescents. In order to more effectively and accurately identify, diagnose and treat the health care needs of children and adolescents who rely on Children’s for ​advanced health care services, families are full collaborative partners in every aspect of the care delivery system. Full implementation of family-centered care results in improved patient and family satisfaction. Building on these concepts, Children's Hospital assures that families are welcomed, respected and well informed as we work together towards optimal outcomes for their children.


“Family Centered Care doesn't mean empowering families; it means not taking away the power they already have.” ~Dr. Stan Handmaker, Pediatrician, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The family is the constant in a child's life. Nurses, doctors, therapists, teachers and neighbors may come and go, but the family remains the same. Parents have a unique expertise about their children, reading subtle signs that are unseen to others. These perspectives have unique value because they benefit from knowing the child across all settings, at home, in school, on the playground, in worship, at the doctor office, and in the hospital. Their participation in identifying problems and treatment plans is essential in developing strategies that can be successfully implemented within the family construct.

Family-centered care requires trust and respect, including respect for each family's values, beliefs, and religious and cultural background. We value families' knowledge of their children, acknowledge their authority as decision-makers and respect their choices.

Respect is the over-arching, fundamental value and belief that drives family-centered care and is imbedded in these four core concepts.


Children’s Hospital works in partnership with families in planning care for individual patients, and in developing, implementing and evaluating hospital policies and procedures. We respect and value the expertise that families bring to this partnership. Their observations and insights can bring a more in-depth assessment of clinical trends and behavioral responses related to their own child and of the hospital environment in general. We are experts in pediatrics, and families are experts on their own family and in receiving healthcare services. This partnership between professional staff and family members results in outcomes that are in the best interest of the child and family.


We understand the stressors that are placed on a family when their child needs to be in the hospital. We support families by respecting their decisions; offering comfort as they cope with the child's illness; meeting the social, developmental, spiritual and emotional needs of the child; and fostering family members' confidence in their ability to care for their child.


Families bring different personalities, life experiences, values, beliefs, education, and religious and cultural backgrounds to the hospital setting. Family-centered care emphasizes that caregivers must be flexible so they can meet the needs and preferences of all families.


Our professional staff provides medical information to families and values the personal information families provide about their children. This information exchange builds trust and contributes to the partnership between families and caregivers. We ​offer information families may need to make educated choices about treatment and support the choices they make. When families understand their options, they make better decisions for their child. In addition to medical information, Children’s Hospital provides information on educational, social and community resources.

We also seek family input to the attainment of new knowledge by partnering with families in research and evaluation. For more information, please contact us.