June 29, 2011

by: LeafBridge Services Contributor

Advocating on Behalf of Your Child

Therapy Services at UCP of Greater Cleveland are committed to making a difference in the lives of the children and families we meet. That commitment starts the very first day a family requests services from the agency. The process of partnership and advocacy is one that is developed very early on and requires consistent dialogue between families, therapists, case managers and medical practitioners.

One might ask, “Why is it important to communicate with my therapist and advocate for my child within therapy?” Parents are with their children much more than any therapist or medical practitioner. Families understand children’s responses to change, stress, transitions and so forth. What happens in life affects the therapy environment. Working in partnership is key to therapeutic outcomes. 

How can a family assist? Advocacy starts with being in partnership with the therapist. Know your home program. Let the therapist know what is working and not working within the home environment. Let your therapist know when surgeries, treatments or hospitalizations are occurring as this allows the therapist to be planful in their interventions.  Discuss the utilization of medical home care with your case manager, as coordination of care is essential.  Request reports on a regular basis to share with the specialist that your child is involved with.  You become a stronger advocate for your child when you look at the care process from a team approach.

UCP remains committed to education and empowering families to take an active role in the health care of their child.  For more information, contact (216) 791-8363, ext. 260 or childrens@ucpcleveland.org

Celia Chesnick, MS, LSW, SC, Children and Family Services Manager

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