Support Groups for Children
Children and their families need support while they are dealing with a child’s illness and treatment. You will find support resources both at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance clinic and at Seattle Children’s.
Seattle Children’s sponsors and hosts a variety of support groups and networks for families of children with special healthcare needs. Most of the groups are led by a social worker or nurse. Parents or parent-staff partnerships facilitate some groups.
Here are some support groups that you may find helpful.
Parent Support Program
The Parent Support Program connects families whose children are newly diagnosed or just beginning treatment with trained volunteer parents who have been through a similar experience with their own child. The one-to-one peer support takes place primarily over the phone. Contact: Lawrie Williams, parent, (206) 987-1119.
Sibshops provide peer support and education for siblings of children with chronic medical conditions. Sibshops meet on Saturday afternoons at Children’s Hospital. Programs range from information gathering and discussions to fun activities, games and special guests. Contact: Cathy Harrison, CCLS, (206) 987-3285.
Sibling Support Groups
Social worker Alisa Peterson runs groups for siblings of transplant patients. Children in grades 4 through 7 meet on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Hutch School and children in grades 8 through 12 meet on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., also at Hutch School. The support groups address issues such as coping with having a transplant recipient in the family, but they also are an opportunity for fun, field trips and social contact with peers. Contact: Alisa Peterson, MSW, LICSW, (206) 667-1443.
- See a list of some current support groups available through Seattle Children’s.
- Contact the Seattle Children’s Resource Line for information about additional support groups in the Puget Sound area. Call (206) 987-2500 or toll-free (866) 987-2500.
- Volunteers work in more than 70 departments at Seattle Children’s. You'll recognize them by their blue smocks. You’ll see them at Seattle Children’s Family Resource Center, at information desks, in inpatient units holding babies, in the Playroom helping with activities, and throughout the hospital bringing books and toys to patients. Volunteers can visit your child for bedside play sessions, stay with your child while you take a break, or take your child to the Playroom and stay to play. Families on the inpatient unit may ask their child’s nurse to set up a volunteer visit.