SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital is not only home to world-class pediatric health care, but also to numerous support services that address the various non-medical needs of our patients. Our core values of compassion and respect strengthen the care we provide to all children and their families, regardless of their ability to pay. As a leading provider of faith-based health services, part of our vision is to address the mental, spiritual and physical needs of those who are socioeconomically marginalized.
Our staff of full and part-time social workers and nurse case managers work with families whose children are frequently hospitalized or have complex medical issues, such as cancer, kidney disease or heart defects. Social workers assess the family’s mental, emotional and support needs and collaborate with the child’s care team when those needs may affect his or her health or well-being. Our social workers also participate in the care and discharge planning processes, ensuring that children have everything they require before going home, such as medications, in-home nursing care, medical equipment and more.
Family Assistance Program
There is perhaps no greater threat to a family’s stability than a crisis event, such as the illness or injury of a child, especially for families who are socioeconomically marginalized. Poor housing conditions and lack of basic necessities, such as medications, have been linked to negative health outcomes for children. We recognize that even the best medical care can be undone quickly if a child’s family is unable to provide for his or her basic needs; therefore, we take an active role in helping families address situations that can adversely affect their child’s health.
The Family Assistance Program provides short-term financial assistance to families whose children are treated at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. This assistance comes in the form of gas cards, help with medications, temporary lodging, assistance with rent, utilities and medical equipment.
Many families whose babies are medically fragile report a significant level of physical, emotional and financial stress. Much of this anxiety is related to unexpected diagnoses, uncertain outcomes and unknown lengths of stays in the hospital, along with accompanying strains on employment, the care of other children, marital relationships and finances. These problems can be compounded by time away from home, limited financial resources and lack of social support.
The Baby Steps Program, coordinated by a licensed counseling professional, is a comprehensive, early intervention program for parents of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Baby Steps provides parents – including those with a history of mental illness or substance abuse - with education, counseling and emotional support, increasing their competency, resilience and confidence. As a result, parents are empowered to recognize stressful situations and are better equipped to handle them.
How Your Support Will Help
By supporting Social Services, you are helping us make a difference in the lives of children in the following ways:
Family Assistance Program. Donor support allows the Family Assistance Program to help more than 100 families each year who are facing eviction from housing, utility terminations, extraordinary expenses for transportation, medications and more. Your support enables us to assist some of our most vulnerable families with maintaining a safe and healthy home environment for their children.
Baby Steps. Like many of the support services we provide at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon, Baby Steps is not billable to insurance. Therefore, we rely on donor support to sustain this vital program that benefits more than 120 families every year.