Safety & Acceptance
Everyone needs a safe environment where he or she belongs and is accepted. In a world of healthy kids, many children with medical needs feel rejected and left out. Life-threatening illnesses bring a host of isolating circumstances that most of us never experience. In HopeKids’ supportive peer community, no child is the only one wearing a mask or using a wheelchair. No one is stared at because she is bald, or because he has a feeding tube. At HopeKids, everyone belongs.
Many of our events are held privately providing a safe, healthy environment away from large public crowds. Public spaces are a problem for our immune-suppressed kids; minimizing exposure both protects them and reduces parental stress.
Repeated studies have shown that acceptance and safety are basic needs. The faculty and staff at the University of Michigan Health System cite a study that said, “Children need to feel like they belong. Their peer relationships are an important arena for them to do this. Try to help your child find interests and activities that provide opportunities to connect with other kids with similar illnesses.”4 The National Association of School Psychologists encourages this as well. “Create a sense of belonging. Feeling connected and welcomed is essential to children’s positive adjustment, self-identification, and sense of trust in others and themselves.”5
4. 20 March 2013 http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/chronic.htm
5. 18 March 2013 http://www.nasponline.org/resources/mentalhealth/mhtips.aspx
“HopeKids has benefited our family by creating spaces and opportunities for us to spend time together in a safe, fun environment. We are able to do things together that make us feel like a ‘normal’ family again – where cancer isn’t the center of our thoughts. HopeKids events allow our family to be in places where immunocompromised kids and siblings are able to enjoy themselves, and in turn, we, as parents, are able to relax and not constantly worry about the very real dangers of germs, etc. It’s truly a magical escape from the daily reality of this horrible disease.”
– Margaret, Caroline’s Mom
According to our Latest Survey
HopeKids provides an environment where my HopeKid is accepted for who they are.
HopeKids provides events where my HopeKid is not singled out because of their medical condition.