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  • Pediatric Specialty Program

    The essence of a Pediatric Specialty Program is family-centered care. Family-centered care is defined as having eight critical components. They are:

    • Recognition that the family/support system is the constant in the child's life, while the service systems and personnel within those systems fluctuate.
    • Facilitation of family/support system—professional collaboration at all levels of care.
    • Sharing of unbiased and complete information with the family/support system about the child’s care on an ongoing basis, in an appropriate and supportive manner.
    • Implementation of appropriate policies and programs that are comprehensive and provide emotional and financial support to meet the needs of families/ support systems.
    • Recognition of family/support system strengths and individuality and respect for different methods of coping.
    • Understanding and incorporating the developmental needs of infants, children, and adolescents and their families/ support systems into healthcare systems.
    • Encouragement of parent-to-parent support.
    • Assurance that the design of healthcare delivery systems is flexible, accessible, and responsive to family/support system needs. [Adapted from T.L. Shelton, E.S. Jeppson, and B.H. Johnson, Family-Centered Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs. (Washington: Association for the Care of Children’s Health, 1987).]

    Pediatric Specialty Programs are culturally sensitive, interdisciplinary, coordinated, and focused on outcomes. These programs serve children/adolescents who have significant functional limitations as a result of acquired or congenital impairments. The programs use an individualized, developmental, and age-appropriate approach to rehabilitation that ensures that care focuses on preventing further impairment, reducing activity limitations, and minimizing participation restrictions while maximizing growth and development. The programs encompass care that enhances the life of each child/adolescent served within the family, school, and community. A major focus is on providing developmentally appropriate care that acknowledges each child's/ adolescent's need to learn and play.

    Note: An organization seeking accreditation for a Pediatric Specialty Program must also meet the program description and standards for at least one of the programs in Section 3, and may also be combined with any other specialty program designation in Section 4..

    Note: A person served is defined as a child/ adolescent if the individual is under the age at which one is legally recognized as an adult in a given state/province. Refer to the Glossary for a definition of child/adolescent.

    Emancipated minors are individuals who are under the age at which a state or province would legally recognize them as adults but who have had parental control over them legally terminated. In those states or provinces that recognize emancipated minors, those individuals are considered adults for the purposes of the CARF standards.

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