Specialist Paediatric Palliative Care Services

Child holding stethoscope to TeddyPaediatric palliative care services exist in all states of Australia and typically have a state-wide and territory remit.

Services provide holistic and compassionate care for children and their families who have identified palliative care needs.  This care support can be provided directly or indirectly through local health teams in collaboration with the specialist paediatric palliative care service.

Support is provided for families to care for their children in the environment of their choice, including at home in their local community, with flexibility for hospital or hospice admissions as required. 

Primary care teams and other health professionals involved in the care of children with life limiting conditions can seek direct medical, nursing and allied health support and advice from paediatric palliative care services throughout Australia.

Specialist Paediatric Palliative Care Services in Australia

Please note, there are some children’s hospices in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia that offer a range of supports and services. Many adult hospices will also support children and their families. Your local Paediatric Palliative Care Service may assist you with more information and decision making regarding place of care.


Potential Team Members

Care is tailored according to the needs of each patient/family with a focus on maintaining quality of life. Each service has a unique team membership. Please refer to the different roles below and contact your local paediatric palliative care service for specific details.


Staff Specialist

A senior medical officer specialising in paediatric palliative care, symptom and pain management for infants, children and adolescents.




Medical Fellow

Assists the Staff Specialist to manage the medical care of the patient through monitoring and providing appropriate supports.




Nurse Practitioner

The leader of the nursing care team who oversees patient and family care plans and ensures patient and family goals are achieved.




Clinical Nurse Consultant / Specialist

Part of the nursing care team and co-ordinates care according to the patients/families’ needs and preferences.




Occupational Therapist

Assists with function and participation in activities in the environment.



Bereavement Co-ordinator

Helps families through grief and bereavement and connects families with community supports according to the unique needs of the family.




Facilitates functional movement and assists with non-pharmacological pain management and respiratory care.




Optimise nutritional intake and provide advice on nutritional plans to support.



Speech Pathologist

Facilitates and optimises communication and supports positive feeding experiences.



Chaplain / Pastoral Care

Provides caring, compassionate and emotional support in a non-religious, non-judgemental way.



Music Therapist

Uses music to provide connection with others, symptom relief and relaxation.




Dispenses and monitors medications and counsels on medications and lifestyle advice.



Child Life Therapist

Focusses on developmental, social and emotional wellbeing through play.



Art Therapist

Facilitates creative expression for the patient and family through the art.



Volunteer Co-ordinator

Manages and support volunteers to engage with the family to provide community supports.



Social Worker

Provides counselling, advocacy, psychosocial referrals, to empower patient and families.




Provides psychological assessment and intervention to children and their families to help them address the psychological impacts of progressive, life-limiting medical conditions, improve quality of life, and support engagement with care and treatment.




Administration Worker

Support the service and clinicians to provide care for families in a variety of ways.



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officers

Aim to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients understand the reasons for their hospitalisation and the importance of their care. They act as an advocate for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander patients when important matters are discussed and communication is difficult. They also provide culturally appropriate information to health services staff.