Family-Centered Care Project RISE
Family-Centered Care Project RISE

Project RISE (Reaching for Independent Successful Employment) creates employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. We have identified paid jobs and volunteer opportunities within the hospital to help individuals acquire hands-on work experience.

Paid Employment

Young adults with disabilities are employed throughout the hospital in a variety of roles. We focus on tasks that may be learned through on-the-job training as opposed to formal education.

Project RISE employees are currently employed in the following departments: 

  • Child Life
  • Guest Services
  • Human Resources
  • Pediatric Care Network
  • Education Department
  • Outpatient and Ambulatory Clinics
  • Internal Transport

Supported Volunteerism

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Volunteer work experience offers the chance to explore potential career choices, learn about workplace expectations and build marketable skills. This program component is identified as PAVE (Providing Accessible Volunteer Experience).

Volunteers opportunities include:

  • Escorting visitors through the hospital
  • Interacting with children waiting for medical appointments
  • Providing office support
  • Assisting with play activities
  • Distributing items donated by the community 

Transition from School to Work

Children's Mercy partners with two local school districts to mentor student volunteers from special education programs throughout the school year. Students spend their school day immersed in the hospital work environment. School district and partner agency staff accompany the students to help hospital departments with training and support. The Project RISE Program Manager is also available to assist current patients transitioning to adulthood with employment-related services such as career exploration, resume development and interview preparation.

Community Outreach

Project RISE engages with numerous community partners and businesses to demonstrate the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. We help connect patients with community resources that can assist them in achieving post-secondary education and employment goals.


  • Volunteers must be at least 15 years of age. Employment candidates must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Priority is given to individuals with disabilities who have a history of care at Children's Mercy.
  • Health screenings, annual flu vaccination and background checks are required. Employment candidates must also pass a drug screen.
  • Candidates must be able to manage self care independently during work time (such as using the restroom, meals and taking medications).
  • Available opportunities are determined by the business needs of the hospital. After initial training, we expect that volunteers and employees are able to perform assigned tasks independently.

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