Day 7
A break for the parents of a child with cancer in Germany

A temporary second home A temporary second home

The parents' centre in Freiburg for families with children with cancer

Two rocking horses, the smell of fresh waffles and cosy armchairs: When you enter the parents' centre in Freiburg, you are greeted by a warm, friendly atmosphere. The house is a refuge, a harbour and a little bit of home away from home during an uncertain time. Around 2,200 children in Germany are diagnosed with cancer every year (German Childhood Cancer Foundation, 2020). The diagnosis always comes as a shock to the families and for the sick child, his or her parents and siblings, this means that everything will change from one moment to the next. The disease and the treatments demand a lot from the families. At the same time, the young patients need nothing more than to be close to their parents. A hospital stay can also be a burden for relatives. Parents are woken up as often as eight times a night on the children's ward - more than the doctors on call. This is why there is a parents' centre right next to the children's hospital. Here families can find everything they need for an extended stay. In addition, the families are given comprehensive care by experienced specialists.



Accommodation, psychosocial support and sibling care for families with children with cancer in Freiburg.



The parents' centre offers 37 rooms for families of children with cancer. The families live here and are supported in the treatment process of their child.

Countable effort


Number of overnight stays of parents and siblings of children with cancer in the parents' centre.



Parents can be with their ill child and the burden on the family is reduced. This helps patients and their relatives to cope better with the treatment.

Systemic effect


The chances of recovery for children suffering from cancer are improved.


In the past decades, medicine has made enormous progress. Today, 80 per cent of children suffering from cancer survive the disease. However, the life-saving therapies are often intensive, protracted and extremely debilitating for everyone involved. The chances of curing children with cancer depend not only on clinical care, but also to a large extent on the family situation. This raises many questions: How will it work out if daddy or mummy suddenly can no longer go to work? Where should the sibling stay during the day? What happens to the flat, the house, the business? Who will listen to the parents and advise them with all their fears and worries?

These are financial, organisational and psychosocial issues that families with a seriously ill child suddenly face. Usually, the diagnosis is made at a stage of life when everything is in the process of getting established. Depending on the course of the illness, the situation can also change at any time. The clinics cannot reconcile all family-related factors with the treatment of the child. For this reason, numerous parents’ groups and initiatives have been founded throughout Germany – including the Association for the Support of Children with Cancer in Freiburg. For 40 years, it has been committed to providing psychosocial care for families, relieving the burden on clinic staff through grants and financing research projects and medical equipment. Since 1995, the Association has been running the parents’ centre next to the paediatric hospital.

The good deed

With today's donation you support the parents' centre in Freiburg. It houses the parents and siblings of children with cancer for the duration of the inpatient treatment. A total of 37 rooms or apartments are available to families. The bistro serves breakfast in the morning and sometimes waffles, cake or a warm soup. In addition, the house has communal kitchens, lounges and laundry facilities, providing everything the families need for an extended stay. The siblings are looked after by staff trained in education and therapy in the playroom of the parents' house. Social services advises and accompanies the parents in all matters. All these services strengthen and support affected families and improve the chances of recovery for the little patients.







Number of inhabitants

46.946 $

46.946 $

Gross domestic product per capita per year

Placed 4th out of 189

Placed 4th out of 189

Human Development Index

The Children's Hospital at the University Hospital of Freiburg is conducting intensive research on cancer. As part of the KOBRA project, 11 regional clinics are joining forces in order to provide patients with care close to home.