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NAHPS Mission Statement

The object of the charity is to promote the physical and mental well being of children and young people who are patients in hospital or community settings. The charity aims to promote high professional standards for Health Play Specialists, and to ensure that the provision of appropriate therapeutic play interventions is embedded in the child’s care plan. Play is accepted as vital to healthy growth and development and a natural part of childhood which enables children to explore and make sense of the world they live in. For children and young people who undergo medical and surgical procedures, access to play carries greater significance.

Children have the right to access play and recreation according to Article 31, UNCRC

We carry out our aims by:

  • Promoting awareness of the emotional needs of children and young people in hospital and community settings, whilst advocating the inclusion of therapeutic play interventions in a child’s daily care plan
  • Promoting and maintaining professional standards of practice through recognised training and CPD activity, liaison with statutory and allied organisations and through professional publication
  • Providing information and advice on specialised play for sick children and young people
  • Organising conferences and study days
  • Publishing a bi-annual professional Journal and a range of subject specific information leaflets.
  • Writing and publishing expert information about key areas of professional practice.
  • Advocate that all Health Play Specialists commit to regular and ongoing re-registration in order to demonstrate fitness to practice

The work of NAHPS is conducted by practising Health Play Specialists. The charity is reliant on the income from membership subscriptions, publications sales and conference fees. Apart from auditor’s fees, and an administrator, we have no salaried staff. We are the only organisation in Europe dedicated to promoting play for sick children and young people and frequently receive requests for advice from all over the world as well as the UK. The charity organises study days and conferences and works collaboratively with HPSET and the training colleges in order to develop and maintain high standards of professional practice.

There have been many milestones in NAHPS history.