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How we help

How we help families


 We are the only Scotland wide charity dedicated to promoting and championing the needs of all children and young people and their families at times of illness. We also supply information and resources, support and advice with the aim of helping families access the best possible health care.

Advice and Support – if you need information or advice on any aspect of caring for a sick child or young person, then contact our national office or our member of staff in your area.  

Family Support - Our area staff can offer help to families caring for a sick child. They can:

  • provide support to liaise with healthcare providers or the hospital
  • provide one-to-one support through our hospital play box
  • signpost to other sources of help such as information on welfare rights and benefits, family support groups for specific conditions.  

Long Term Conditions - An estimated 2 million people in Scotland live with one or more long term condition. A long-term health condition is one which lasts generally longer than a year. Usually there is no cure but there are things that can be done to maintain and improve quality of life.  We work for all children and young people when they are sick and we recognise the range and complexity of needs of young people with long term conditions. We have had a self management project for young people in Lanarkshire with long term conditions. For more information click on our Past Projects page and we are currently working on a Child Self Management Project in West Lothian.  (See current Projects page).

Information and resources on health care concerns – We have a range of resources for families:please click on publications to view

Please also see our Useful Resources pages for information on other useful organisations and publications.

Children and Young People’s Healthcare Rights

The EACH charter gives information about the standard of care families should expect to be provided for their child in hospital and when accessing healthcare services. This booklet sets out the 10 points of the charter and explains what they mean.

There is an accompanying poster illustrating the 10 standards which can be downloaded.

Our Children and Young People’s Healthcare Rights Resource Pack is designed to help those who wish to assist young people understand the nature of health care services available to them, how to access these and what their rights are in relation to them. 

Family Participation (Having a say in planning child healthcare services)

Guide to Engagement with Families (parents, carers, children and young people) - new toolkit resource as a guide for professionals to facilitate engagement with users.

Would you like to Have a say in planning child healthcare services?

If YES, then go to our Family Participation Questionnaire, complete the questions and return to the address at the foot of the questionnaire. It will only take a few minutes of your time and will help us in this important work. Many thanks!

A great deal of recent legislation and guidance on health, education, social services and the early years requires the involvement of users in planning services. Increasingly professionals are involving families in shaping services because it benefits everyone and can lead to a more efficient and cost effective service.

ASCS is involved at all levels of planning and policy making locally and nationally and we do this with input from families, parents, carers, grandparents, kinship carers and children and young people themselves. It is your knowledge and experience which informs and shapes our work. We do this in different ways

  • Sitting on committees
  • Playing a part in the various planning groups at local health board level
  • Getting involved when there is a national consultation on an aspect of child healthcare
  • Feeding our views in through other organizations in partnership work – FSDC and the LTCAS
  • Attending focus groups to give our views in person – e.g. The national delivery plan for specialist children’s Services

You can become involved in this type of work by:

Representing Action for Sick Children Scotland on a particular group either nationally or in your area

  • Feeding in your views to a local group e.g. patient interest forum in Forth Valley,
  • Responding to a consultation by telling us what you think and forwarding your ideas for inclusion in our response such as the patient rights bill
  • Taking part in a focus group organised to feedback on new government policy 
  • Play a part in the running of your local hospital services through the family council/involvement panel.

For more information on family involvement/participation or how to become involved please contact us at the national office

For examples of some of our work in shaping child healthcare services see our Campaigning Section