Our Family Navigator programs provide families with the information, resources and education necessary to navigate the complexities of their childhood cancer journey.
Our goal is to care for the family so that their attention can be focused on their child and understand that each family along with each diagnosis of childhood cancer is unique.
Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance established our Family Navigator Program in 2011 in response to requests from families and health care providers for additional support towards navigating the complex health system and accessing community resources.
Family Navigators work directly with families and in collaboration with hospital social workers to identify the unique needs of each family and increase their access to resources.
The Family Navigator Program includes Hope Chests – family care packages, Financial Support, In-Kind Services and Support, Connecting Parent to Parent, Family Care Services, as well as Bereavement Resources. We understand that each family is different in their diagnosis, family dynamics and overall needs. Being able to provide customized family support and form a long term relationship with a family are what make our program such a vital community resource.
It is through our alliance of partners, donors and the community that we are able to continue to grow these programs and services that families desperately need.
Case workers from five area hospitals refer families that are in severe financial distress. Our Family Navigator customizes a box of hope which includes; a personalized snuggle blanket, a variety of therapeutic and educational materials, and gifts for the sibling(s) so they are reminded that they are an important part of their family’s journey.
Each Hope Chest includes a check to help the family meet the additional everyday expenses related to childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment, such as travel, lodging and meals away from home. We also offer Adopt-a-Family and Fund-a-Family programs to help alleviate some of the financial burden the families face during treatment.
In-Kind Services and Support
A childhood cancer diagnosis has consequences that extend beyond treatment and care for the child, to the fabric of everyday life. Our Family Navigator works with a variety of local businesses and organizations to assist families in extending their resources. Examples of recent partnerships with area businesses include those specializing in car repair, heating and air systems, appliance repair, home furnishings and property management.
Connecting Parent to Parent
Often childhood cancer parents want to talk with other parents who have experienced the journey of childhood cancer. Our Family Navigator plays a vital role in connecting parents and providing recreational and therapeutic forums to foster interaction.
Family Care Service
Families are invited to social events, outings, and a holiday party at the end of the year to provide a brief respitefrom the daily stresses of cancer treatments.
We are committed to healthy grieving and understand the devastation that losing a precious child can have on the
entire family. We provide appropriate bereavement books and resources for all members of the family. The information is placed in a handmade wooden “Remembrance Case” that family members can store their treasured keepsakes. Our Family Navigator provides additional resources and support to the family assuring them they are not alone in their grief journey.