About CIH

How CIH Began

In response to concerns regarding parents’ rights to be involved in their children’s care while their child was in hospital and their right to stay with their sick child, The Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital (Ireland) was founded in 1970 by a small group of committed parents. In the early years, CHI advocated in particular for recognition of the right of parents to stay with their child in hospital, for visiting times to be extended, and for the facilitation of visits by siblings and other family members. It urged that children’s units be provided in all general hospitals where children were being treated and that these units be staffed by personnel with paediatric training. CIH also promoted the right of children to have access to education while in hospital and the need to develop hospital, play specialist services.

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Our Vision

An Ireland where the rights of children are respected and prioritised within the healthcare system.

Our Mission

  • To promote the wellbeing of children within the healthcare system in Ireland, in particular, before, during and after hospitalisation.
  • To provide information and support to parents and carers and to engage in advocacy in relation to healthcare services for children.
  • To make the hospital a happier place for children and young people by providing volunteer-led play and recreation services.

Our Values

The work of Children in Hospital Ireland is firmly rooted in and inspired by the lived experience of children in hospital and their families and the knowledge and insights of our volunteers, staff and members.

  • The principles and provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the EACH Charter.
  • The place and power of play and recreation in the lives of children and young people.
  • The contribution of our staff and volunteers.
  • The voice of children and young people and of parents/carers and family members.
  • Collaboration with hospitals and health service agencies.
  • Providing services that are accessible to and inclusive of all children and young people in hospital.