Child and Family Health

Child and Family Health

A team dedicated to dealing with the complexities of nursing care for children and their families

The Child and Family Health Teaching and Research Laboratory brings together a wide range of people with diversified and yet complementary skills who are aiming at encompassing clinical, community, pedagogical, and disciplinary dimensions related to this field.


The realm of nursing care for children and families is complex regarding many aspects. Specific care needs that stem from child psychomotor development (from birth to late adolescence), alongside the needs of the children’s families, call for highly specialized nursing competencies and efficient interprofessional collaboration. According to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (2019), the physical, psychological, intellectual and social well-being of people up to the age of 26 is one of the Swiss’ priorities in terms of public health policies.

The Team

Our Approach

The Child and Family Health Teaching and Research Laboratory’s strategic vision supports the promotion and development of holistic child and family nursing care from a systemic and integrative perspective.


  • Child nursing care, which extends from birth to the child’s independence, is indissociable from an integrative family approach.
  • Family nursing is based on an integrative perspective of the family in all its forms (nuclear, blended, single-parent, rainbow, etc.).
  • Holistic nursing care for children and families incorporates a systemic approach, addressing an interprofessional dimension as well as the specific environmental, societal and sociological factors in which families develop and evolve.
  • The development and promotion of holistic nursing care for children and families is based on a legal framework including the Rights of the Child and the Rights of the Patient. It relies on the Code of Ethics of the profession, and on the EBP’s (evidence-based practice) results.


Foundation Year in Healthcare

The Foundation Year in Healthcare enables students to acquire basic health knowledge. Specifically, the Laboratory’s team members support students throughout this preparatory year by providing courses and workshops on health promotion, disease prevention and specific clinical interventions for children and families.

Bachelor’s degree

The Child and Family Health Teaching and Research Laboratory prepares future practitioners to:

  • Examine and analyse the most prevalent child-specific health issues.
  • Assess the impact of these health problems on children and their families.
  • Make relevant clinical assessments based on scientific knowledge and evidence.
  • Design care projects specific to the different paediatric ages (0 to 18), meeting the needs of the patients while taking into account the complexity of each situation, using specific, adapted tools (clinical vignettes, training videos, role-playing and simulation).
  • Consider, argue and implement alternative interventions according to the focus of the care project (preventive, therapeutic, rehabilitative and palliative care).
  • Care for patients and their families in both contexts of health and/or disease, while ensuring the continuity of care within an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Support the child and family from a systemic and intercultural standpoint, taking into account the impact of hospitalization on them.
  • Reflexively examine one’s own clinical approach while maintaining a professional stance.


Postgraduate training

Members of the Laboratory are involved in various postgraduate training courses in nursing care, for instance:


The Laboratory’s research activities focus on the health of children and families from an integrative perspective, underpinned by a systemic approach to the family. Those aim to develop family-oriented nursing interventions which improve outcomes for children, families and healthcare professionals. In that vein, a new research project “SAFIR” (Early Care Interventions for Families) is currently being carried out by the Department of the Clinical Neurosciences in the VUHC (Vaudois University Hospital Center). This intervention is the result of a partnership between clinicians and families of children with cerebral palsy within the non-profit association FRAGILE Vaud.

Find out more in this short video.

Research findings are used to continuously update and enrich the content of courses in various training programs, so as to respond as accurately as possible to current social and health issues, and hence to the needs of the population. The Child and Family Health Teaching and Research Laboratory also offers Bachelor’s degree students the opportunity to write a “Research Participation” dissertation, allowing them to actively take part of an ongoing research process at the Laboratory. This process helps students comprehend the challenges associated with performing research and its significance for the development of high-quality nursing care.

Healthcare experience of children and families during the pandemic

The aim of this research project is to explore the healthcare experience of children under 11 years old and their families who sought paediatric home nursing care in the canton of Vaud during the COVID-19 pandemic for an initial health problem or as part of an ongoing follow-up. Indeed, the pandemic had a considerable impact on society, leading to short, medium and long-term changes for individuals, families and communities.
Data collection took place between February and May 2023. The results of the study will help document the real-life health experience of children and their families, identify and map paediatric home nursing challenges and needs, and establish recommendations for the adjustment of current family nursing interventions or the development of new relevant family interventions such as during pandemic outbreaks. This will in turn enable subsequent research to be conducted to test the effectiveness of these interventions. This research is sponsored by the HES-SO.


The Child and Family Health Teaching and Research Laboratory’s members are committed to providing high-quality consulting services, particularly in the following areas:

  • Training in paediatric clinical assessment for various healthcare institutions in the canton of Vaud, including Paediatric Homecare Services (AVASAD) and Morges Hospital.
  • Update of capillary and venous blood sampling techniques for laboratory assistants at the La-Chaux-de-Fonds Hospital.
  • Training of future “Doctors Dream” for the Théodora Foundation. 


The Child and Family Health Teaching and Research Laboratory collaborates with paediatricians, nurse clinicians, healthcare managers, training practitioners from hospital and extra-hospital care facilities in the canton of Vaud and in socio-educational environments, to best meet the needs of the children within the framework of the school’s diverse missions.

Useful Link

Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP) 2019. Child and youth health in Switzerland: facts and figures (in French, Italian or German)