How to Care

Specialized Programs and Services

Child Abuse and Neglect Services

Audrey Hepburn Children’s House

The Audrey Hepburn Children’s House provides a safe and private environment for infants, children, and adolescents who are suspected victims of abuse. Professionals with clinical expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of child abuse provide a full range of diagnostic and treatment services to children and their families. The Audrey Hepburn Children’s House is a state-designated Regional Diagnostic Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, serving Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.  The facility provides a unique environment that is specifically designed to address all aspects of child maltreatment in a professional, confidential, and compassionate manner.

Child Life Services

Child life specialists and creative arts therapists are important parts of the collaborative team that provides care to children at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. These trained professionals provide education and emotional support to help children and their families cope with the experience of illness and being in the hospital. A child life specialist/creative arts therapist is an expert in child development, who promotes effective coping through play, psychological preparation, and self-expression. These therapists can help a hospitalized child feel safe in what can be a very frightening environment. Through their work, they can help the child reduce stress and develop positive coping skills.

Day Accommodation Suite

For young patients who require transfusions, infusions, blood tests, or are participating in clinical trials, visits to the hospital may be frequent, and unwelcome. The Day Accommodation Suite offers our patients (from infancy to age 22) a comfortable, soothing environment for their hospital visits that is in close proximity to medical services.


Down Syndrome

The Judy Center

The JUDY Center for Down Syndrome is a consultative service that enhances the lives of individuals with Down syndrome as they progress through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Providing a bridge between pediatric and adult healthcare services, we help individuals and their families navigate the healthcare system. With consent of the individual or family, our professionals will meet with other agencies and healthcare professionals to discuss the treatment and care of the individual with Down syndrome or other lifelong conditions.

SIDS Center of New Jersey

The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Center of New Jersey (SCNJ) is a statewide program that supports bereaved families during times of crisis. The program is based at both the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC and Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick. Our program offers comfort to families, while working to fulfill our 3-pronged mission of bereavement support, public education, and participation in ongoing research efforts. We offer free one-year case management follow-up for all referred families.

Social Work

Everybody reacts differently when their child is diagnosed with a serious, chronic or life-threatening illness. But one thing is true for everybody—you have to have a realistic view of the situation and find a way to adjust. Sometimes, that is not so easy. Our highly qualified social workers work with children and their families to help cope with the effects of illness and treatment. They can help the patient and family members adjust to living with a chronic or acute medical condition. Our social workers are all trained and experienced in working with different types of families and are sensitive to cultural differences.


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