Psychosocial Services

Going Beyond Medicine to Support and Care for the Whole Child

Psychosocial Services

When your child is sick, it can be hard to understand what is happening, to make decisions and to juggle family responsibilities. At Nationwide Children’s, our Psychosocial Services Team will help your child understand what they are going through, assist them in coping with their new diagnosis, minimize stress and fears about medical procedures and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation or surgery, and help siblings understand what is happening to their brother or sister. We also work closely with your child's school to ensure they stay on track and assist their peers in better understanding why they are not in school. We know one family member’s illness impacts everyone else, so we create an environment where your child can achieve their best health and your family can receive the support to positively cope with your child’s treatment and care.


Each patient receives an individualized care plan that focuses on their needs, age and overall care from diagnosis, through active care and remission or end of life. It’s important to remember that childhood cancer is a family disease, significantly affecting the lives of the patients but also their parents, siblings and the community. 

Our patients and their families can participate in services and activities that complement medical care and bring comfort during a difficult time. Your family will work with specialists in the following areas: 

Young Girl Leaning on Animal Friend

Social Work

The Department of Social Work at Nationwide Children's engages with families to identify and address barriers to wellness. We focus our work on the relationship between family function and medical illness.

Preteen Boy Leaning on Tree

Psychosocial Services

As an integral part of the care team, the Psychosocial Services Program is one of the most comprehensive in the country. We ensure patients and their families have every resource needed socially, emotionally and psychologically.

Child Life Specialist Playing With Young Girl

Child Life Specialists

Child Life Specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families cope with health care experiences.

Young Boy Cupping Hand

Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation uses play activities to treat children with disabled function caused by trauma or disease.

Toddler Girl Running Toward Camera Smiling

Massage Therapy

A leader in pediatric massage therapy, Nationwide Children’s is one of the only children’s hospitals to staff a department of full-time, licensed massage therapists.

Butterfly gust

Spiritual Care

Chaplains in the Department of Spiritual Care provide emotional and spiritual support for patients, families and staff. Support is given to those of all faiths and cultures.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Patient Stock Photo

Music Therapy

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Music Therapists work with patients on therapeutic goals.

Jumping Toddler

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy focuses on facilitating development, enhancing function and maximizing independence in all daily life activities.

Teenage Girl Smiling in Hallway

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy refers to the treatment methods used to develop or restore movement, promote healing and function and educate children and their families.

Little boy holing two thumbs up

Art Therapy

Our Art Therapist is part of a multidisciplinary, psychosocial team that works together to help patients and their families cope with hospitalization and provide support throughout the treatment journey.

Our Programs

Psychosocial Services

Music Therapy


The psychosocial services team includes professionals in social work, child life, psychology, art and music therapy, genetics, therapeutic recreation, massage therapy, and occupational and physical therapy as well as our STAR school program.