Overview of COL Services

The need for the services provided by Circle of Life Children's Center is clear.  Families who have an infant or child diagnosed with an illness or medical condition that is not compatible with long life are not prepared with the information needed to make all decisions pertaining to the care, treatment and options offered by doctors who care for their beloved little ones. 

Parents do not want to look back on this time with regret that decisions were made that impacted negatively on their child or that proved not to be helpful in minimizing pain or symptoms of illness and/or treatment, nor lengthened their young lives in a markedly positive way. 

Families may not:
  • feel comfortable feel in today's fast-paced, technology driven hospital environment
  • understand or speak English
  • comprehend the options offered by doctors nor the outcomes of those options as they involve their child
  • know nor ask the questions of their child's doctor that need to be asked 

Attempting to avoid the minefields of decision making on behalf of their seriously or terminally ill infant or child is a daunting job that is fraught with possible missteps. 

This is where Circle of Life can help.  Our dedicated, professional and highly trained staff will assess each infant/child's needs wherever they are located in New Jersey (home, hospital, long-term care facility, etc.) and will provide: 
  • clear information and guidance to families
  • language translation as needed 
  • 24/7 telephone availability to answer any questions or concerns that may arise 
  • assessment of social service needs and appropriate referrals for specific needs 
  • support for siblings including education about what is wrong with their brother or sister, what to expect in the days and weeks ahead, and assurance that they are not at fault 
  • support to families as end of life nears for their much-loved child 
  • a plan of care for infants/children dying at home with specific instructions for what to do at time of death
  • grief support for the entire immediate family for as long as needed

Opportunities to memorialize their child are presented, including memorial boxes, photos, mementos, clothing, hand crafted blankets/quilts, etc. that are specific to each child and family. 

Circle of Life services are provided free of charge to all qualified children and families in New Jersey regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.

For healthcare professionals, Circle of Life provides:

  • educational programs, workshops and seminars
  • hospital grand rounds
  • lunch & learn sessions for caregivers
  • consultation with care providers to prepare a customized plan of care for a child being cared for at home or in a long-term care or other facility
  • assessment of needs and preparation for moving a child from hospital to home outside a hospital catchment area (e.g. from a neighboring state)
  • follow-up home visits to evaluate needs of the child, family and care providers
  • support for caregivers following the child's death