We provide compassionate, professional care for children who have a life-limiting illness.
When a child has a life-limiting illness, Montgomery Kids, our specialized pediatric hospice care team for Montgomery County, is here to help. The Montgomery Kids (Mkids) team is a dedicated, interdisciplinary group of trained professionals who work with children, their families, and their doctors or other caregivers to provide coordinated care. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for each child and their family, as defined by the wishes and priorities of the child and family. We provide compassionate patient and family-centered care – the Mkids team includes the child and family in the decision-making process regarding services and treatment choices to the fullest degree that is possible and desired. We provide families with resources and work together to include the values, goals, and needs of children and families through an individualized plan of care, concurrent with other treatments. We come to you – children are supported in their homes, surrounded by family, friends, and the things that they love.
MKids is coordinated by a physician and registered nurses. The team provides physical, developmental, psychosocial, and spiritual care as core services, along with trained volunteering and Complementary Therapies services as appropriate, such as music therapy. Volunteers can offer respite for parents by spending time with a patient’s siblings, running household errands, and providing stories to the patient. Hospice care for children also addresses the family’s needs regarding impending loss, as well as grief support offered by professional bereavement counselors following the death.
FAQ – Montgomery Kids
What type of life-limiting illness is appropriate for care?
There are numerous illnesses/conditions that can be life-limiting to children, such as: cancer, severe genetic disorders, end stage diseases of an organ system (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc.), neurological degenerative diseases (Battens Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, etc.), or conditions from traumatic injury. Any such disease or condition may be appropriate for care.
When should hospice care begin?
A referral to the Montgomery Kids Team should be initiated when your child has a life-limiting illness and the physician has determined the need for additional support in comfort care, symptom management, and pain control. This early intervention will enhance your child’s comfort, as well as to provide spiritual and emotional support to your child and family.
Can my child continue to see their primary doctor?
Yes, your child can continue to be treated as before, with the addition of the expertise of the MKids team to assist with pain and symptom control, and psychosocial and spiritual needs. The medical professionals will work together to provide concurrent care, as determined by the patient and family’s goals.
Can my child continue to attend school?
Yes, MKids team encourages the child and family to continue activities (school, vacations, etc.) to promote quality of life.
How is pediatric hospice care different from general hospice care?
A primary difference between pediatric hospice care and general hospice care is that curative treatments usually stop when an adult patient enters general hospice care. With pediatric care, curative treatments can continue alongside hospice services.
Is a DNR required to be in Mkids pediatric care?
No, it is not necessary to have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate order) in place to be in our care.
How do we get started with care?
Call us at 301-921-4400. An order from your child’s physician is required, and we can help coordinate that call for you.
How is the program paid for?
Medicaid and many insurance companies will pay for hospice and palliative care. We do not turn away ANYONE due to payment limitations.