Family-centered Care Core Concepts

The caregivers at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center follow family-centered care core concepts. These concepts guide us in providing the best care possible to you and your family. The core concepts of family-centered care empower families in the care of their children.

Family strengths

The family is the constant in the child's life. We support and empower family members as partners and decision-makers in their child's care and help them cope more confidently with their child's illness.


Family-centered care requires trust and respect, including respect for each family's values, beliefs, and religious and cultural background. We value families' knowledge of their children, acknowledge their authority as decision-makers and respect their choices.


We provide the information families need to make educated choices about treatment and support the choices they make. When families understand their options, they feel less powerless about their child's hospital experience.

Information sharing

Our staff provides medical information to families and values the personal information families provide about their children. This information exchange builds trust and contributes to the partnership between families and caregivers.


We support families by respecting their decisions; offering comfort as they cope with their child's illness; meeting the social, developmental and emotional needs of the child; and fostering family members' confidence in their ability to care for their child.


Families bring different personalities, life experiences, values, beliefs, education, and religious and cultural backgrounds to the hospital setting. Family-centered care emphasizes that caregivers must be flexible so they can meet the needs and preferences of all families.


As partners in care, staff and family members work together as collaborators in the best interest of the child.


Families have the right and the authority to care for their children. The core concepts of family-centered care empower families in the care of their children.


The Children's Medical Center recommends the following resources for more information related to family-centered care.

The Institute for Family-Centered Care, a nonprofit organization, provides essential leadership to advance the understanding and practice of family-centered care.

The Pediatric Family Resource Library, located in the Benedict Building, second floor, is staffed by professional reference librarians from UMass Chan Medical School who assist parents and medical professionals in finding information about a child's health condition.

Appointments: 855-UMASS-MD

Children's Medical Center
University Campus
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655


Children's Hospital Association