Our Program cares for children with serious health problems that can’t be cured. Our team offers palliative and supportive care that fits each family’s needs.

Palliative care for seriously ill children

Children who have serious, life-threatening health problems need physical, emotional and social care. We offer palliative care to ease pain, symptoms and improve quality of life for our patients.

The Hummingbird Program offers support for children, families and the people who care for them. Our team helps to ease your child’s pain and stress. We take time to get to know your family and learn about your goals for your child. We work with you, and your child’s whole care team, to help build a care plan that works for your family.

What We Do

  • Visit your child in the hospital and clinic
  • Help ease pain, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, anxiety, constipation and other symptoms
  • Provide psychological, emotional, and social support for your child and family
  • Improve your child’s quality of life
  • Coordinate your child’s care across different settings
  • Organize family or care team meetings to discuss complex choices for complex health issues
  • Work with your family to clarify care goals based on what matters most to you and your child
  • Share information about home services (such as home nursing care and hospice care)

Other Services

  • Coordinate hospice care, if needed
  • Offer grief support through all aspects of chronic illness, death and ongoing bereavement
  • Educate staff who care for children with serious health conditions
  • Provide psychological support to people who work with children with serious medical issues

Help for Expectant Parents

Waiting for your baby to be born can be stressful for any parent. It’s especially hard when you learn that your child will be born with a serious health problem. The Hummingbird team works with the Penn State Perinatal Program to help you cope and prepare.

We Can Help You:

  • Strengthen your support system and coping skills
  • Think through the information you have about your baby’s condition
  • Create a birth plan focused on the things that matter most to you at this emotional time
  • Make decisions that honor your goals and values
  • Build memories and a legacy with your baby

Support Groups

Support groups provide children and their families an opportunity to connect with others in similar situations. Learn more about the support groups offered at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

View All Support Groups