Spiritual Care

Dealing with illness and uncertainty can be an extremely challenging time. Many people find that talking with a chaplain can help during this period. Chaplains with Spiritual Care Services provide support to patients, family members, friends and staff members at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.

An integral part of our health care team, chaplains representing many faiths are available around the clock to be a caring presence, offer spiritual and emotional support, and listen with openness and understanding. Patients, families and staff are encouraged to call a chaplain when experiencing feelings of fear, anger, loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, grief or loss, or when they just need someone to talk to. Chaplains also are available for times of celebration, prayer and rituals.

Chaplains are available to support all of our patients and their families, whatever their spirit path might be. You do not need to be affiliated with a congregation or faith community to call a chaplain. However, if you do belong to a community, we can notify a faith community of your choice to arrange for a visit. Your minister, rabbi, imam, priest or other spiritual adviser may visit you and your child at any time.


  • Prayer
  • Guided meditation and relaxation for relief from emotional and physical pain
  • Support groups
  • Support with grief, loss and bereavement for patients and family members
  • Religious rituals or sacraments
  • Spiritual and emotional support in times of stress
  • Contact and coordination with your home congregation and clergy
  • Individualized, brief concerts in your hospital room, through the Music Is Good Medicine Program
  • Life-cycle events including memorial services, weddings and commitment ceremonies, baptisms, blessings and welcome rituals for new babies
  • Spiritual literature or sacred texts

We also work with other staff to provide:

  • Support with end-of-life issues
  • Ethics consultations
  • Spiritual assessment and interventions for healing
  • Family support and participation at family-physician conferences
  • Help in explaining patients' cultural and spiritual needs to staff, including treatment preferences and dietary restrictions
  • Advance care planning

We also offer the following materials for use by patients and their families:

  • Spiritual literature and sacred texts
  • Ritual items for most faith traditions and spiritual practices
  • Guided relaxation exercise CDs and audio files
  • "Communicating with a Loved One at End of Life" pamphlets

Meditation Room and Garden

Our meditation room is a quiet place available to you and your family for reflection, prayer, meditation and comfort.

The meditation room and garden are located on the first floor of our Mission Bay hospital in room C1401, adjacent to the children's hospital lobby at 1975 Fourth St. Smaller meditation rooms are also available near the lounges on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the adult hospitals at 1855 Fourth St. All are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Make a Donation

Spiritual Care Services is supported in part by generous gifts and grants. If you wish to donate, please visit makeagift.ucsf.edu/spiritualcare.

Related Information

Ways to Give

How to Reach Us

For more information about Spiritual Care Services, please call (415) 514-4200.

If you wish to call a chaplain, ask your nurse to page the on-call chaplain.

Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education at UCSF is accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

Patient Services