The Children's Inn at NIH Overview
Target demographics: Children staying at The Inn range in age from newborn to 25 years old. They have come from all 50 states and more than 80 countries and are receiving treatment at the NIH for catastrophic diseases such as heart, lung, blood, bone, and growth disorders, mental illness, rare genetic conditions, and many forms of cancer.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year, more than 1,500 families visited The Inn.
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: Organize and host a Family Dinner for Inn residents. Family Dinners provide a wonderful opportunity for Inn residents to eat together and ease the stress of adjusting to a new environment. Sundays and Wednesdays are our busiest nights at The Inn -- a perfect time to involve community groups to either prepare food and drop it off for the families, or prepare, serve and share meals with The Inn families.
Geographic areas served: The Children’s Inn operates only in Bethesda, MD on the campus of the National Institutes of Health. However, we serve children and families from all 50 states and 82 countries.
Programs: There are three components of The Inn’s current services and activities. All services are provided free of charge.
Housing: The Children’s Inn provides a residence for pediatric patients (newborn to age 25) and their families who are receiving treatments at the National Institutes of Health for serious and life-threatening illnesses like heart, lung, blood, bone, and growth disorders, rare genetic conditions, and many forms of cancer. The Inn can provide housing and family support services for up to 59 families daily. The length of stay for families depends on the research study. Some families come for a day or two, others for weeks; some may return periodically throughout the year and for several years. The Inn is open and operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Resident Services: The Children’s Inn is a caring “place like home” where children can play, relax with their families, and experience a sense of normalcy during a difficult time. To help reduce stress and facilitate mutual support among families, The Children’s Inn provides the following to all families free of charge:
➢ Community kitchens and dining facilities
➢ Comfortable living, gathering, and activity areas
➢ Reflection Space
➢ Playrooms for children of varying ages
➢ Learning Center
➢ Business Center for caregivers
➢ Computer Room for children
➢ Exercise Room
➢ Therapeutic Garden
➢ Playground and Sport Court
Family Support Services: The overriding philosophy at The Children’s Inn is that families play a pivotal role in the lives of their sick children. To treat a child effectively, The Inn’s team must treat the child and family as one. Family Support Services at The Inn offer opportunities for fun, education and adventure, while also supporting the day-to-day needs of families. Favorite family activities include Tuesday Night Bingo, trips to local restaurants, and tours around the Washington, D.C. area. Parents appreciate the regularly scheduled trips to grocery stores and weekly trips to shopping malls provided by shuttle service. We currently offer more than 600 Family Support Programs each year, at no cost to families.
Education Program: For children whose lives have been disrupted by chronic or life-threatening illness, staying on track with their schoolwork becomes problematic, especially when treatment involves extended and repeated school absences. In order to address this, The Inn recently implemented an Education Program, which offers customized academic programs and services to meet physical and/or learning challenges.
The Woodmont House: In June 2010, The Inn opened a transitional home for families and their children who have surpassed the maximum length of stay at The Inn. The Woodmont House can accommodate five families whose children are no longer in the acute phase of their illnesses, yet still require treatment at the NIH Clinical Center.