Not everyone can prepare a child to be ready to walk through the doors of a hospital. Child Life can. And enCourage Kids wants to provide the resources, tools, and funding to make sure each Child Life Specialist and pediatric facility around the country is prepared to welcome the 3 million children hospitalized every year in the United States.

enCourage Kids Foundation’s mission is to help humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. What we have learned over the years is that everything comes back to Child Life. Without Child Life, a pediatric patient’s experience in a hospital is exponentially scarier than it should be. There are sharp needles, terrifying sounds, unfamiliar words, and unknown people. Even the simplest of procedures or visits can cause anxiety in a child.

That is where Child Life steps in. And enCourage Kids is stepping in right next to them. We want to support the Child Life Community in whatever they need to continue to make hospitals a better place to get better. Our job is to ask Child Life, “What would help you to best serve your patients”? If they say, “music therapists help relax and soothe our patients during scary procedures,” we work to provide that for them. If they express that facility dogs help motivate pediatric patients to complete their physical therapy, we strive to fund a facility dog for them.

Since our inception, we have watched the incredible impact Child Life Specialists have on pediatric patients across the country and we are proud to work closely with them. March is a month to celebrate them and everything they do. It is not an easy job, but it is a worthy job and a job that makes a difference in the lives of millions of children every year.

If you have a story about how a Child Life Specialist has impacted your life, or if you are a Child Life Specialist and want to share your story with us, please leave a comment. We would love to hear it.