The Child Life “CAPES” program (Children of Adult Patients Enduring Stressors) provides free comprehensive psycho-social support services for children of patients cared for by the Harris Health System, especially those with life-altering diagnoses. It is difficult for parents to come to terms with a diagnosis, let alone have this conversation with their children.
Through CAPES, child life specialists help patients with various diagnoses identify the family’s needs and work to promote positive coping by using accurate, easy-to-understand, non-threatening and age-appropriate information. Their goal is to equip parents with knowledge by providing educational resources and therapeutic activities that address typical questions and responses.
CAPES takes child life specialists beyond a hospital’s walls. While not unique, Harris Health’s program at Lyndon B. Johnson, Ben Taub and Quentin Mease hospitals, Smith Clinic and Harris Health Outpatient Center is part of an emerging trend in healthcare that aims to care for the holistic needs of patients.