Spiritual care for children

Below are downloadable resources or links to websites that you may find useful in providing spiritual support to children, particularly those with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.

The spiritual needs of a child in hospital – nurturing the vessel within

Dr Annemarie Oberholzer (RN, DCur)
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
University of South Africa

A hospital experience can be terrifying for a young child. Children in hospital can experience spiritual pain, distress and fear due to painful treatments, or when they are witnessing other children experiencing trauma; they are faced with the difficulty of learning to trust the adults causing the pain; and there is the potential of grief when they are faced with separation and loss (Nash, Darby and Nash, 2015:17).

It is not uncommon to heal a child’s body in hospital, but to send him or her home with emotional or even spiritual scars that may leave a lasting impact.

Download as a PDF 


The Religions of the World Charter for Children’s Palliative Care

The Religions of the World Charter continues to advocate for the global right to children’s palliative care. It is available in multiple languages.

Visit the website for multiple translations

Download the Charter: World Religions Charter – Rome 2015


Spiritual Care recommendations for palliative care in Africa

With a Foreword by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

The recommendations in this report offer a way forward in developing health care services that are truly sensitive to the diverse needs of the communities they serve. The recommendations include information on Spiritual care needs among children on page 28.

Download as a PDF: Spiritual_care_recommendations_for_palliative_care_in_Africa