NIH Clinical Center

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Family Friend Program kicks off

To better serve patient needs, the Clinical Center has initiated the Family Friend Program, a pilot program designed to support individuals who would like to participate in clinical trials at NIH, but have difficulty due to the lack of child care resources.

Open to children between the ages of 3 and 7, this service may be utilized by patients enrolled in an NIH clinical trial who need child care during their treatment procedure. Services will be provided during the hours of treatment only with a maximum of 10 children at any one time, and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Patients are encouraged first to exhaust all outside resources for child care. Advance notice is requested, but in the case of an emergency situation, the program will accept children who have not been previously scheduled, space permitting.

Once a need for the service is established, the principal investigator, research nurse, or other designee will refer the patient to the Social Work Department. An assessment will then be conducted and the case will be referred to the director of Volunteer Services. If appropriate, and space permitting, the child will then be approved to participate in the program. Patients will be required to provide an immunization history for each child at the time of registration.

The CC Family Friend Program is located in the 14th floor playroom and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patients will be responsible for providing breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner, and bagged meals are encouraged. The staff will provide the children with nutritious snacks and juices throughout the day.

CC volunteers who have had extensive background checks and department child-care training will staff the program.

For more information on this pilot program, contact the Social Work Department at 6-2381, or visit the Family Friend web site (


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National Institutes of Health,
Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center,
Bethesda, Maryland 20892.
Last Modified 6/99

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