Since 2004, the Ambulatory Children’s Hospice Foundation in Munich (AKM) has looked after families with terminally and life-threateningly ill babies, children, adolescents, and adults throughout Bavaria, as well as seriously ill parents with minors in the household. Since last year, Moving Child has been financially supporting three of the foundation’s projects: 1) RUF24 (crisis intervention service), 2) therapy costs, and 3) child-friendly funerals. More about this in our blog post from November 2020.
Our focus today is on RUF24, the free 24/7 crisis intervention service from the AKM. Those affected can call RUF24 for advice and counselling in exceptional crisis situations. In addition, the full-time and voluntary employees of RUF24 come to the home or clinic of the affected within two hours’ notice. This offer gives people support and stability in stressful situations. Moving Child was so convinced of the work done at RUF24 that we decided to finance the basic RUF24 offer for three years.
But that’s not all.
“I want to stand by people in a serious crisis.”
This is the inner wish and also the self-commitment that the volunteers from the crisis intervention service (RUF24) of the (AKM) carry within themselves. Since August 2022, Moving Child managing directors Anna Schulz-Dornburg and Gertraud Leimstättner have also been part of this team.
The intrinsic need to use their strength to help families in a crisis situation and to offer support has accompanied them for a long time. In a training course, volunteers of the RUF24 are intensively prepared for the difficult but important work. The training covers topics such as: What is trauma? What is a crisis? How do I support families in crisis situations? How do I take care of myself so that I can support others in crises? The aim of the voluntary work is to support and accompany families whose child is in an acute life-threatening situation. The full-time and voluntary employees look after and accompany the patients starting from the diagnosis. They relieve families in these extremely hard mental and physical situations and support them with a professional team of doctors, psychologists, social workers, midwives and nurses.
In addition, the AKM foundation offers other helpful and supportive projects, such as outpatient hospice work, aftercare projects (e.g., meetings for those affected, creative offers, and bereavement groups), and family counselling. But AKM also supports “heart’s desires” (a project that fulfils special wishes), sibling days, and holidays for the whole family. All of these offers enable the terminally or life-threateningly ill children, adolescents, young adults, and their families to enjoy moments of safety and normality. A (future) project of the AKM that is slowly taking shape is particularly interesting: “House ANNA”. House ANNA is a inpatient children’s hospice that aims to close the gap between outpatient and inpatient care.
House ANNA consists of three modules:
- (Partial) in-patient day and night hospice for children and young people, i.e., regular care of young patients during the day, spontaneously by the hour, if necessary, as well as regularly at night and over the weekend. In addition, a fully inpatient children’s hospice service in two family apartments to care for the whole family in special circumstances.
- Center for outpatient care: Nursing advice and specialist advice for caring relatives, socio-medical and participation-oriented aftercare, outpatient children’s hospice work with constant availability through 24/7 crisis intervention (RUF24).
- Young people living in shared flats (still in conception).
While fully inpatient facilities represent a temporary alternative to outpatient care and relieve families of everyday life, semi-inpatient offers are always a complementary relief in everyday life. The semi-stationary area thus supports the parents in coping with everyday life. The opening of four houses is planned, whereby the first house ANNA (in Eichendorf, Lower Bavaria) is already under construction and is scheduled to open in summer 2023. Moving Child supports house ANNA in Eichendorf with a generous financial donation for the interior design and equipment.