Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care

As one of the nation’s oldest and largest pediatric hospices, Capital Caring Health recognizes that children from infants to adolescents who are facing chronic, life-limiting medical conditions require a specially tailored approach with compassionate, nurturing support.

Capital Caring for Kids

Surrounding Families with Care and Support

Our holistic palliative and hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life for the child and the family through expert management of pain and other physical symptoms.

To help the child and family cope with the complex issues resulting from a serious illness or condition, we provide palliative care, emotional, spiritual and other support services.

We help families sort through the difficult conflicts about choices of services and treatments and their impact on quality of life and the values of the child and family.

In 2018, Capital Caring Health launched a Virtual Pediatric Consultative Rounds Program led by Dr. David Steinhorn, Capital Caring Kids Pediatric Palliative and Hospice Care Physician. These bi-weekly rounds allow us to collaboratively coordinate the pediatric patients’ care with children’s specialists from Children’s National Medical Center, INOVA and other pediatric providers across the country. This complex care coordination improves communication among providers and provides expert consultation based on best practice models for specific pediatric needs. Since initiating these virtual rounds, our pediatric hospice patients have experiences change to experienced improved pain and symptom management, enhanced communication between providers, and a decreased number of hospital admissions.

See how Capital Caring Kids helped DeAnthony fulfill his life-long dream of getting a puppy:

Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care at Capital Caring Health

Our team of professional caregivers, supported by pediatric palliative care physicians from the renowned Children’s National Medical Center and INOVA Fairfax Hospital, provides family-centered care wherever your child calls home, anytime day or night.

Our services include:

  • Board certified physician/nurse practitioner consultation in coordination with the child’s physicians and other health care providers
  • Nurse visits to manage pain and other symptoms
  • 24/7 support for questions and nursing visits
  • Home delivery of medications and equipment
  • Hospice home health aides who assist with daily care needs
  • Social worker who helps children and families cope with emotional and practical issues
  • Grief counselor who helps educate families on grief and loss
  • Child and Family Clinical Specialist to help the whole family express emotions
  • Chaplain for spiritual support
  • Specially trained volunteers to assist the child and family
  • Periodic respite care at one of our in-patient care centers

Capital Caring Health also provides pediatric intensive inpatient symptom management at our four specialized facilities which have accommodations for overnight stays for family members. Visitors are welcome. 

When a child has received a prognosis of a year or less to live, hospice care is considered the best approach to ensure the needs of the child are being met. Children on our palliative care service may transition to our hospice service if the family and medical team decide that this is the most appropriate service.

While we focus on relieving pain and managing symptoms to improve the quality of life for the child, the pediatric patients enrolled in our hospice care may continue to receive curative treatments. Families are welcome to continue receiving home health and specialized nursing care from other providers while enrolled on our hospice service.

Meet Our Team

David Steinhorn, MD

Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Co-Executive Lead

Tara Hoit

Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Co-Executive Lead

When Should I Consider Palliative Care for My Child?

Here are the questions to ask:

  • Does your child suffer from pain, trouble breathing or other symptoms due to a serious ongoing illness?
  • Do you need help understanding and coping with your child’s disease and diagnosis?
  • Do you need help clarifying treatment goals and options?
  • Do you need assistance in making medical decisions?
  • Do you need help coordinating your child’s care?

If you’ve answered “yes” to most of these questions, it may be time for you to ask your child’s physician to write you a referral for a palliative care consult. You may call 800-856-1348 or click here for assistance with the referral or to ask questions.

Capital Caring Health: We're Here to Help

When you think you or a loved one might benefit from pediatric hospice and palliative care, we have the detailed information and support you need. We’ll help determine your hospice coverage and how to get started. Once you choose to receive pediatric hospice services, care usually begins within 24-48 hours, starting with a discussion with a hospice physician about a custom care plan for you. For more information, call 800-869-2136.

Reach out to one of our care experts today.