Family Support Services

Child Life


Child life specialists at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh are professionally trained, to provide developmental, educational, social and emotional support to children of all ages ranging from birth to young adulthood. We strive to help patients and families understand and cope with their hospital stay and overall health care experience.

Child activity coordinators work in coordination with child life specialists to provide diversion through interaction and activities to help meet the developmental and pyschosocial needs of patients and families.

Adaptive Care Program

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Adaptive Care Team (ACT) is a complimentary program, dedicated to improving the care and experience for our patients with developmental and behavioral challenges, including but not limited to autism spectrum disorder. We utilize an Adaptive Care Plan to inform our doctors, nurses, and staff about the unique needs of your child in the healthcare setting. We promise to promote safe, sensitive, and individualized care.

Is the Adaptive Care program right for my child?

To participate, your child should be:

  • 3 years or older.
  • Diagnosed with or being evaluated for a developmental disability or behavioral condition.
  • Demonstrating a difficult time coping and cooperating in the healthcare setting.

What is an Adaptive Care Plan?

An Adaptive Care plan is individualized to your child through an informal assessment process. One of our team members will collect information, from you the caregiver, including your child’s preferred communication style, sensory differences, and past healthcare experiences. This information is documented within your child’s electronic medical record. Through a collaborative approach with caregivers, we can increase coping, cooperation and decrease stress during a potentially difficult time.

Enrolling in the Adaptive Care Program

If you feel your child will benefit from an Adaptive Care Plan, please email and one of our team members will reach out to you as soon as possible.

The Lemieux Sibling Center

The Mario Lemieux Foundation established the Lemieux Sibling Center to help patients’ brothers and sisters cope more effectively with illness or injury. The center, which is located in the main lobby on Floor 1, provides a hands-on learning experience to nurture children and to reduce their anxiety and fears. Siblings ages 3 to 12, who are toilet-trained, are welcome to visit the center to participate in age-appropriate activities to play out their feelings. Child Life staff, with assistance from volunteers, coordinate therapeutic arts and crafts projects in a positive atmosphere. 

The Lemieux Sibling Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Appointments are suggested, but walk-ins are welcome. For more information, call 412-692-5343. Download the brochure.

Library Services

Floor 6
(412) 692-5288

Family Resource Center and Library

At the library, staff is always ready to help. Whether you need assistance with computers, have questions about a specific topic, are looking for things to do in the area, or just want a quiet place to relax, stop by and check us out! Staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:30am-7pm.

Resources & Services


The Adopt-A-Book section is full of donations from the community. It contains books and magazines for all ages, including adults. Patients and families are invited to take these materials home to keep and share. The library accepts donations of gently used books, magazines and DVDs. If you're interested in running a book drive or just cleaning out your bookcase, contact a staff member for more information.

Family Business Center

Open from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day, the business center has seven computers and gives patients and families free computer, internet, copier, scanner, telephone and fax access.

Online Library Catalog

During your stay at the hospital, you may visit our online health library to browse our online catalog and search for materials contained in the catalog.

Additional Offerings

Safety Center

The Safety Center provides education and resources to help families stay safe at home and on the road. Hospital staff may refer families for injury prevention guidance and arrange for patients and families to visit the Safety Center's house replica to experience hands-on training about using home safety products correctly and how to prevent injuries. The Safety Center's staff also works with families who are referred to the center to complete detailed home safety assessments to make sure homes are safe for children. The Safety Center is open Monday-Friday from Noon to 4pm.

Hospital School Program

The Hospital School Program provides free academic services to inpatients enrolled in Kindergarten through grade 12, and any special education inpatient, age 5 to 21, regardless of where the patient's home school district is located. Individual instruction is provided by certified teachers and students receive attendance credit for their participation. For more information, please contact the Family Resource Center at 412-692-5288.

Pastoral Care/Chaplain


The Pastoral Care Department ministers to the spiritual and religious life of patients, their families and hospital staff, regardless of religious affiliation. A chaplain is on call for critical needs 24 hours a day. The non-denominational chapel is always open for prayer and meditation and is located on the Floor 6.

Patient Representative

Floor 6, Family Resource Center


The patient representative is an advocate for patients and families attempting to resolve problems or concerns with the hospital care or staff. The patient representative can help with information requests, interpretation of patient/family rights and responsibilities and to assure service quality within Children’s Hospital’s environment of care.

Public Safety


The Public Safety Department is staffed by commissioned police officers 24 hours a day. Public Safety officers are available to escort parents and visitors to their vehicles and to the bus stop upon request. The hospital's Lost and Found is maintained by Public Safety and the department's post is adjacent to the Emergency Department or by calling 412-864-9990.

Public Safety has a 24-hour dispatcher who can be reached at 412-692-5191.

Supportive Care/Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Floor 6, Family Resource Center


The Supportive Care/Pediatric Palliative Care Program provides comprehensive management of symptoms (physical, emotional, social and spiritual) relating to a potentially life-limiting disease process.

The supportive care team, consisting of a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, pharmacist, care coordinator, child life specialist and volunteers will assist the child and family in controlling symptoms and maintaining a good quality of life.

Volunteer Services


Volunteer coordinators work to identify, orient, train and evaluate committed individuals who serve as volunteers in a variety of hospital programs and departments.

Welcome/Information Center


The Welcome/Information Center provides special services for patients, families and visitors such as directions and maps to the hospital and neighborhood locations, gift and flower delivery, visitor ID badges and access cards, wheelchairs and car seats.