Services and hours
As a non-licensed, volunteer-supported environment, the centre will support children or youth that are ages three and older. One Volunteer will play with up to four children at a time. All children visiting the centre must be toilet-trained and able to feed themselves.
The centre has age-appropriate learning activities such as:
- arts and crafts
- board games
- video games
- quiet spaces to read or rest
The centre will also provide a single-serve nutritional snack, for children who may wish to have a healthy snack break during their stay.
Our Volunteers will work to help reduce the fear and anxiety siblings may have about their brother or sister’s hospital stay and alleviate wait-time stress on families or siblings.
The Sibling Support Centre is a new centre created from the generous donations from the BC Children’s & Women’s foundations and auxiliaries. With the support of donors and the many partners who have supported this work for more than four years, the centre is now in it's pilot phase.
The centre’s pilot hours are Monday to Friday excluding statuatory holidays, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
The centre’s scheduled available times are:
- 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., reminder sent at 10:30a.m. for pick up
- 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., reminder sent at 12:45p.m. for pick up
- 1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., reminder sent at 3:00p.m. for pick up
The Under Three Sibling Support Service, is a volunteer-led service for siblings of patients staying in the hospital or visiting clinics. It is designed for short-term visits (choice of a block of 3 hours or under) and meets the needs of children under three years of age. One volunteer will play with one sibling during a booking time.
Research has shown that fear and anxiety are greatly reduced in siblings of sick children through distraction/play/activities and entertainment, as well as allowing the parents/care providers time to focus on the child in care without worry.
With volunteers being placed on the units and in waiting room areas, department areas would provide a ‘point-person’ for the volunteer to connect with while on the unit/area for emergencies and introductions to families (where to meet, orientation to the departments play space for volunteers to set up, etc).
The Under Three Sibling Support pilot hours are Monday – Friday excluding statuatory holidays and dependent on volunteer availability and staff point-person availability
- Block 1 - 9:00 am -12:00 pm
- Block 2 - 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm
- Block 3 - 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The centre will be closed statutory holidays and during any labor disruption resulting in assignment of essential service levels.
The centre may be closed in exceptional weather conditions that would impact the safety of family and staff.
The centre will follow pandemic restrictions, such as a closure, that may be implemented by Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).
Does my child have to be toilet-trained to visit the Centre?
Yes, all children must be toilet-trained and able to feed themselves to visit the Centre. With our volunteers supporting all of the centre’s activities, their capacity is limited in assisting children who require help in the washrooms. Hand washing support will be provided.
My child has unique needs and requires professional care or specialized assistance. Can they use the space?
We want to be able to assist with specialized care requests but at this time, the centre does not provide specialized support and can only support children who if required, attend with a professional support person who is welcome, but retained by the family.
How will you manage allergies if you are providing snacks?
- A menu board will be posted outside the space for families to review prior to checking in.
- We will confirm with you that your child/children have no dietary allergies/restrictions to our menu of the day.
- There will also be an allergy/dietary restrictions checklist on the online booking system that we will confirm with you when you arrive.
How will you be monitoring COVID-19 and any infectious diseases, such as noroviruses (vomiting, diarrhea)?
- When families enter the hospital, they will be asked to complete COVID-19 screening with our onsite screening staff.
- Families/guardians will also be screened at the centre check-in for any symptoms in their child/children.
- Should a child become ill during their visit, we will contact the family/guardian immediately to collect their child/children.
- If required, the centre will provide contact tracing information to Infection Control at BC Children’s and BC Women’s to contact families that were in the centre at that time.
Can staff or visitors of the campus use the space for their children?
No, the centre is dedicated to care for siblings of patients in care who are on campus at BC Children’s’ and BC Women’s