In this section
The CPRS team is very aware of the impact of having a
colorectal condition. The CPRS Well-being team, comprised of Psychology, Social
Work and Child Life Therapy, provides specialised support for patients and
families. In addition to the CPRS Well-being team, the CPRS Clinical and Stomal
Therapy Nurse Consultants will provide a high level of support to families.
Please click on the below links to find out more:
The CPRS Clinical Psychologist has clinic appointments to provide support to children and their families. These clinics are on a Monday and Tuesday. Some of the things that you or your child may talk to the psychologist about are:
For further information about referrals, please click Here or
contact the CPRS Coordinator.
What is social work?
The Australian Association of Social Workers defines Social Work as 'a profession committed to helping people achieve the best possible levels of personal and social well-being'.
Social Workers complete post-graduate education that enables professional membership to the Australian Association of Social Workers . Social Workers are bound by a code of professional conduct and ethics.
More information about the profession of Social Work can be found at www.aasw.asn.au.
The CPRS Social Worker works with children and their
families to help them cope with, and adjust to, their health condition. The range of support and services provided by the
social worker includes:
The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Social Work Department
provides a service via referral to all inpatient wards, medical and surgical
units of the hospital, and continues to work with some patients and families
after leaving the hospital.
There are a number of Social Workers in the department with
specialist knowledge and skills in a range of areas, such as children's genetic
conditions, transplant, critical injury, terminal illness and rehabilitation.
There are also a range of bereavement programs and services for families when a
child has died while a patient of this hospital.
The CPRS Child Life Therapist (CLT) provides
individualised support to children and young people to promote effective coping
during procedures and hospital visits. If you have concerns around
your child’s ability to cope effectively during these procedures you may
consider asking the team to place a referral with Child Life Therapy.
The Child Life Therapy team provide support in the following ways:
Medical play allows children the opportunity to
become familiar with some of the medical equipment that they may encounter in a
safe, non-threatening manner using a range of real and pretend items. Children have the opportunity to see, feel
and manipulate equipment promoting a sense of mastery and control.
Children will often cope better with procedures
when they know what to expect and there are no surprises. Child Life Therapists use a range of
developmentally appropriate resources to help explain procedures to
children. Resources include the use of
peer modelling videos, visual schedules and targeted medical play around the
particular procedure. Most children cope
best with a simple explanation about what a piece of equipment is for, where it
goes on the body, how it might feel and how long it may need to be used for. The information shared with the child is
carefully targeted taking into account the child’s individual needs including age,
developmental stage, cognitive ability and previous medical experiences.
During preparation sessions, the Child Life
Therapist may introduce, discuss and rehearse with the child some coping
strategies that could be incorporated into the procedural plan. Strategies can include promoting the use of comfort
positioning, breathing techniques and cognitive distraction. The Child Life Therapist can also assess
suitable opportunities to offer the child appropriate choices to promote a
sense of control and involvement in their treatment to enhance coping.
Child Life Therapists can provide support to
children during procedures, offering them an alternate focus to what the
medical team are doing. When a child has
had some preparation and knows what to expect they can divert their focus to
other activities. Child Life Therapists
often use iPads or other novelty items, to engage a child before, during and
after procedures to promote a positive experience.
Adjusting to your child’s diagnosis may be quite overwhelming and
challenging at times. The team have written a brief resource on what you may
expect at this time.
Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Service - Adjustment to diagnosis
RCH Kids Health Info- Anxiety in primary school aged children
This program is run for young
people aged from 12-25 years. The focus is to connect with other young people
who understand what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.
the link for further information and, if you would like to be part of this
program, please talk to the CPRS Coordinator.
RCH has a number of supports available
to assist children in coming in to hospital.
There are also kids health
information fact sheets to help parents and carers provide support to their
The CPRS team understands that
having a baby or child with a colorectal condition may be hard for older
siblings, especially when there is a lot of medical appointments and time spent
in hospital. The Well-being Team may provide brief care sessions to siblings
who are finding it hard to adjust to their brother or sister’s care needs.
Siblings Australia (https://siblingsaustralia.org.au/) also provide
support for siblings of children living with a chronic health condition.
Private psychology support may be accessed through the GP,
by completing a Mental Health Care Plan. This provides up to 20 sessions per
year – often there is a gap fee that varies from practice to practice. Although
many have long waitlists, there are some that do have current availability and
offer bulk-billing. Please click here to learn more about accessing private
Private psychology support
A number of online and phone emotional supports are also available to
children and young people:
Wadja Aboriginal Family Place is located on the ground floor in
the North Building, follow the corridor from the green lifts past the coffee
shop and turn right.
A culturally sensitive service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander children and their families. Aboriginal liaison officers are employed
in hospitals to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have
equitable access to mainstream health care services, and to increase the
cultural awareness and sensitivity of health care services to the distinct
needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families.
To contact Wadja please call (03) 9345 6742 or see
https://www.rch.org.au/afsu/ for more detail.
If you require assistance with any of the below, please speak with one the of CPRS coordinators via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 03 9345 6979
Families may be eligible for Centrelink payments including:
Refer to RCH Car parking procedure for details https://www.rch.org.au/info/az_guide/Car_parking/
Families are eligible for a discount parking card if:
Transport Assistance Schemes
Families can access relevant transport schemes if they are
travelling more than 100km from the RCH. Ward clerks/ Specialist Clinic admin
staff can supply printed copies and assist with Medicare provider details.
If you live more than 100km away from the hospital, you may be
eligible for travel and accommodation assistance from the Victorian Patient
Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS).
Claim forms are available from the RCH’s Family Hub, clinic desks
and Main Street Reception, or you can download the form https://www.health.vic.gov.au/rural-health/victorian-patient-transport-assistance-scheme-vptas
The medical specialist will need to complete some sections of the
form before you can claim. Please speak with one of the CPRS Coordinators if you require assistance.
Equivalent schemes are available in each state for interstate
The Australian Government provides a free financial counselling
service which you can access to receive information, advice and advocacy if you
are experiencing financial difficulty. Phone 1800 007 007 (9:30am-4:30am,
Monday to Friday), or visit the National Debt Helpline website to find a local
face-to-face office near you at http://www.ndh.org.au
Families are encouraged to contact accommodation options
themselves or speak with a CPRS Coordinator.
My RCH Portal
My RCH Portal is a
way for the RCH to put you at the center of your care. It is a website and
mobile app that gives you and your parents or legal guardians access to
information in the RCH medical record, when and where it suits you. All
information on the RCH portal can be accessed here https://www.rch.org.au/my-rch-portal/ . The CPRS coordinators are happy to assist you with this.