Day-in-the-life of a Family Liaison Practitioner

With your help, we can make sure children with serious or terminal conditions get the expert medical care they need – and the Christmas fun and joy they deserve.

£21 will help fund a Family Support team session, helping parents get through to Christmas.

Please make a special Christmas donation to Demelza, today, to help pay for the expert care that these children will need over the holidays and beyond.

"I start my day with welcome calls to new families and talking to them about what we can do to support them. I am advising them on what services we have available and I am arranging a time for them to have a tour of the South East London Hospice. If required I will meet the family at the hospital.

"We help families with charity applications for household equipment, washing machines, beds, iPads and anything that they may need. This is a really important service that we offer but families are not usually aware that this is a service we can offer. I am also on hand to help with benefits advice and application forms, making sure our families are receiving the benefits available to them on DLA, Carers Allowance and Mobility.

"Next up, I am talking to some other agencies, such as, Housing, OT community nurses’, schools and other professionals involved on behalf of some of the parents. The type of conversations I have include following up housing adaptations and supporting families to have appropriate equipment to use at home, I also signpost families and make referrals to other agencies offering specialist support. And I support families with the transition process to adult services.

"After I finish up with these calls I am doing a zoom call with a Demelza child where we are focusing on reading a book together. Moments like this help to support a child by adding enjoyment to their day.

"During the school holidays we run a variety of sibling day trips which take a lot of organisation on our side. So next on my list is to confirm some details relating to some up and coming trips. In the past we have done things like sailing on the River Thames, Go Karting, trampolining and we’ve even done circus skills in London.

"I then head into a listening session, that gives the parents we support a space to talk for an hour a week. Topics that come up in listening sessions tend to be around the struggles of daily life and the experiences within their caring role mixed with peers’ similar circumstances.

"After school on Wednesdays I run a sibling group giving children a safe space to talk but also have some fun with other peers in similar circumstances. This is via Zoom at home and can include a scavenger hunt, quizzes and games. Our sibling support is a lifeline for the young people we support. Having a sibling with a serious or terminal condition can bring a range of confusing and conflicting emotions and it is vital they have the chance to express and deal with their feelings - I can also offer 1-2-1 support to siblings.

"There are plenty of other things that fall within this role, but hopefully this gives you a taster into the type of work we do as a team. If you’d like to find out more about the services we offer, head over to our how we help section."