Amanda Clarke with Kendall Simmons of the Pittsburg SteelersFor children diagnosed with diabetes, managing their disease is a constant activity — at home, school and play. The Diabetes Center for Children (DCC) at CHOP goes beyond excellence in clinical care to help families, schools, and other caregivers in the community be prepared to assist with a child’s treatment.

New in 2015 was Move to Independence — or M2I — special workshops for parents and adolescents that emphasized building skills and strategies for diabetes problem-solving and shared decision-making. M2I helped families take a first step toward their teens' eventual transition to managing their own care.

The DCC co-sponsors twice-yearly American Diabetes Association Safe at School Workshops for parents and healthcare providers, which equip them to advocate effectively for adequate care and equal access for children with diabetes in schools.

Social workers, diabetes educators and dietitians teach classes for support staff and agency personnel affiliated with Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services and other surrounding child protective service agencies. Then DHS staff are familiar with the responsibilities involved with basic daily diabetes care.

A Diabetes Center social worker facilitates the Diabetes Parent Support Network, in collaboration with parent advocates. Networking, education and emotional support are what makes the sessions, held six Saturday mornings a year at CHOP, valuable for families.

Staff from the DCC help with planning for two children’s summer camps and then provide on-site support so the kids can have a typical camping experience while ensuring their diabetes is safely managed.

The fifth annual Living Well with Diabetes family conference featured NASCAR driver Ryan Reed, updates on the latest research, a roundtable on raising children with type 1 diabetes who also have developmental delays and a special session for tweens.