First students complete Dutch e-learning course on children’s palliative care

Categories: Education.

On Friday 26 June at an informal ceremony held at Boerderij Kleurrijk, a boarding and respite centre for disabled children in beautiful Friesland, the very first group of students in The Netherlands to complete the first of three e-learning courses on children’s palliative care to be translated into Dutch were presented with certificates of completion. The students are all volunteers from ZaZaZorg Foundation, an organisation that has been providing practical and emotional support to families with seriously ill children in Friesland since 2007. 

Development of the Dutch E-Learning Courses 
Providing online electronic learning (e-learning) courses for health professionals and volunteers working in the field of children’s palliative care has long been a vision of Stichting PAL, the national children’s palliative care networking foundation in The Netherlands.    

This vision was realised when Stichting PAL and the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) agreed to work together on the project in 2014. ICPCN, an international network of individuals and organisations working in children’s palliative care has an e-learning website with 6 courses in different aspects of children’s palliative care, endorsed by the University of South Wales.

To date some or all of the courses have been translated into eight international languages, which now includes Dutch. Under the innovative leadership of director Meggi Schuiling-Otten, Stichting PAL raised funds for Project E-Learning Netherlands to proceed. The generous sponsors of this project being Fonds Nutsohva and Stichting Voorzorg.

The three courses translated into Dutch and presently available on the ICPCN e-learning website can be accessed at

These are:

  1. Introduction to Children’s palliative care
  2. Communicating with Children and Emotional Issues in Children’s Palliative Care (Consisting of four Modules)
  3. End of Life care in Children’s Palliative care (Consisting of four Modules)

Each course consists of learning material and assessments (case studies, reflective studies and multiple choice questions). Once the work has been assessed, students who have passed will be sent notification to download a certificate. Certificates are issued for each of the courses. The Dutch courses have been edited where necessary to reflect situations and policies specific to The Netherlands.

In the future a link to the courses will also be made available on the Stichting PAL website.  Maraliza de Haan, an international children’s palliative care consultant and liaison officer for ICPCN, has been appointed as the E-Learning Coordinator for Stichting PAL and will be available to provide support and tutoring.  

The cost of accessing all three of the Dutch courses is €49 and is administrated by Stichting PAL.

Elsbeth Rispens, Director of the ZaZazorg Foundation, who also completed the course and received a certificate on Friday, said that the organisation is very proud that all their volunteers have obtained the certificate for the first module on the basics of children’s palliative care. All future ZaZaZorg volunteers will be asked to complete these e-learning courses, she said, as the modules provide a very good overview of the needs of the children and their families, teach about the importance of communication and how to provide appropriate care at the end of life. She felt that the courses would improve the quality and expertise of their organisation’s volunteers. 

Asked for comment, Elsbeth told ehospice, “ZaZazorg Foundation considers it important that volunteers have a good knowledge of children’s palliative care. This allows volunteers to respond better to the needs of these families. The foundation wants to offer quality and that includes well-trained volunteers!”

For more information on the Dutch e-learning courses available, please contact Maraliza de Haan at

The ICPCN children’s palliative care courses are available in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Serbian, Mandarin, Portuguese and Dutch. Find out more at

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