Carousel Pediatric Program

Carousel – Specialized home care for infants, children, teens and young adults with serious illnesses

Our Carousel Pediatric & Perinatal Team provides palliative care and hospice to children and teens and during pregnancy when an unborn child has a potentially life-limiting condition. Caring for young patients requires special skills and special hearts. The Carousel Team is a group of highly-trained experts including nurses, social workers, chaplains, art and music therapists, and physicians trained in both pediatrics and hospice. Children receive extraordinary care while their families receive extraordinary support.

The goal of the Carousel Team is to:

  • Maximize love and quality of life
  • Minimize pain, fear and uncertainty
  • Keep family life as normal as possible
  • Offer creative activities to enhance family life and communication
  • Be familiar faces in a sometimes overwhelming medical system

The Carousel Team is deeply committed to providing everything needed to guide children and their families through the crisis of illness in a way that minimizes pain, fear and uncertainty. Click HERE to learn more about support for you and your unborn child.

Carousel at Kansas City Hospice

Enjoy Each Day

Balancing emotions and finding expressive outlets can be especially difficult during cancer treatment. Seventeen-year-old Hannah Viens is acutely aware of this challenge. “I struggle with emotions, sometimes they can go from one to the next really quickly,” she shares. “My faith helps me deal with those struggles.” Read about Hannah and see a video about her inspiring family.


Maintain Confidence and Control

When your child is seriously ill, everything changes. You want the best for them, and you want your time together to be as good as possible. Care is a big responsibility and decisions can become more complicated.

You and your family don’t have to go through this alone. We can help make this difficult time easier. A range of home health care services are available for infants through young adults anytime following a diagnosis of a serious illness or life-limiting condition. Support also is provided to family members, including siblings.

Carousel offers pediatric supportive or palliative or hospice care, depending on your family’s needs and desires. Supportive care can be at any stage of serious illness and is available while receiving or seeking treatments to cure or slow the progress of the disease.

Hospice is a special type of palliative care for people of all ages who have life-limiting illnesses and who are focused on comfort. Both palliative and hospice care offer a team of specially trained nurses, social workers, chaplains, physicians and other therapists who address pain and other symptoms, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families, and improve quality of life.

“Carousel has allowed us to revolve our lives around trips to the park and play dates rather than hospital, doctor and clinic visits.” – Becky Means, mother of a Carousel child

Services as You Need Them

Carousel team members are specialists in caring for children with serious illnesses and supporting their families. Care is usually at home, but staff can visit children at school, day care, clinics or the hospital to match family schedules. Children can continue to receive treatments and return to the hospital, and the team helps with transitions. Families receive care to fit their changing needs. It includes:

  • Pediatric nurse visits to manage pain and other symptoms
  • On-call nurses available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for questions and visits
  • Counseling and support to help the family cope
  • Nondenominational spiritual support
  • Trained volunteers to provide companionship for your child or siblings, run errands or give parents a break
  • Art and music therapies to help your child and siblings explore their feelings
  • Education on keeping your child comfortable at home
  • Assistance with participation at school
  • Communication with your child’s physician and other health care providers
  • Monitoring your child’s response to treatments for the illness
  • Assistance planning for future needs
  • Grief support for your entire family, especially siblings

When home is not the ideal setting, Kansas City Hospice House™ is available for children and families who need additional support. The comfortable inpatient facility has a beautiful, homelike atmosphere and provides space for family members.


Services are available to infants through young adults who have life-limiting illnesses or conditions. Carousel serves ten counties in the greater Kansas City area. Families may participate in Carousel regardless of their ability to pay. Insurance companies are billed when possible.

How Care Begins

Care starts with a phone call from a parent, your child’s physician or a hospital staff member. Call 816.363.2600 to schedule an assessment to see how Carousel can help. Or, contact us online.

“Getting involved in Carousel is not giving up, but accepting that you and your family need help, care and support for your child.” – Jeanetta Drabek Cates, mother of a Carousel child


Carousel is made possible by the generosity donors and the dedication of many volunteers. You can help!