The specialists in the Palliative Care program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals have advanced training and expertise in helping children with serious illnesses live the care-free, comfortable lives all kids deserve. Care starts with developing individualized plans that bring relief from the symptoms as well as the stress of being ill.
Because pain is complicated and experienced differently by individuals, our pain medicine specialists embrace innovative techniques and combinations to create a safe, effective plan for each patient. Our integrative therapies for pain management include biofeedback (training in techniques that can allow people to control their body's response to pain), massage therapy, guided imagery, acupressure and acupuncture, art and music therapy, and nerve block injections (such as epidurals).
We take the same holistic approach to address a child's physical, emotional and spiritual needs, as well as those of the family. Our team develops a plan to meet the goals of each patient and family, with support services that include counseling, decision-making help that respects individual wishes and cultural values, and, if necessary, coordination with hospice agencies.
Palliative care services are appropriate at any stage of a serious illness and can be provided at the same time as life-prolonging treatment. We offer these services for all pediatric patients – from newborns to young adults – with complex medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, genetic illnesses and disorders related to prematurity.
Pain Management Program
Pediatric Amplified Pain Rehabilitation (PAPR) Program
Awards & recognition
Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties
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Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.
Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.
Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.
Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.
Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.
Music Therapy Program
Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.
Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.
School Re-Entry Program
After hospitalization, we help kids return to school by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.
Individual Playtime & Instruction
If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.
Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance
Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.
Family Resource Center
We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.
Parent Support Program
Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.
Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.
Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.
If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.
Fetal surgery firsts