Coping as a family after a cancer diagnosis – who can help

We know that coping with the diagnosis of cancer, coming to hospital, and treatment itself can be stressful and can leave you and your child with a range of different feelings. These feelings can include worry, confusion and anger and are all perfectly normal. Our Parent and Patient Satisfaction survey highlighted that some families feel unsure of who to ask for help, and how to get the support they need. These are the people who can help:

Clinical Psychologist

Work with children, young people and their parents at any time during treatment to help them cope. This includes helping people to cope with change, anxiety, low mood, loss, worries about having procedures, changes in body image and managing pain. They can also offer advice about behaviour especially if this interferes with treatment.

CLIC Sargent Social Worker

Offer practical and emotional support, information and advice. This includes helping you find ways to deal with the practical issues, such as financial concerns, employment, referrals for housing, DLA, blue badge and charity applications. As well as bereavement support, ‘Home from Home’, CLIC Sargent holidays and respite breaks.

Play Specialist

Provides play support to your child and their siblings. They can help your child gain confidence having procedures and a better understanding of treatment, as well as providing play activities and distraction during procedures.


Provide spiritual support to families of any faith or none.

Nurse Consultant for learning disabilities

Provides support to children with learning disabilities and their families. He will work with you and the team to make the necessary adaptations to the environment or process so that your child’s individual needs are met.

Please speak to your Key Worker or Specialist Nurse to get in touch with any of these people.

Your Key Worker will also complete a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) to identify your family’s support needs during treatment. Please ask your Key Worker about HNAs for more information.

Compiled by:
The Haematology/Oncology department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Last review date:
November 2015