Phone: (217) 757-6394

Special Guidelines and Application for Group Visits

Thank you for your interest in helping us provide a caring and enriched environment for the children and families at St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

Please remember the holidays are a busy time. Requests for organized visits may take extra time for scheduling, and the availability of times may fill up quickly. Your patience is appreciated.

Applications must be received at least three weeks prior to the date you wish to visit. Please understand that all requested dates and times are not guaranteed.

Visits can be scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. All requests must meet the guidelines listed below. Our Child Life Department will work diligently to accommodate your request.

Requests are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. A member of our team will contact you by phone or email in regard to the date requested for visiting the hospital.


  • All requests for special visitation must be submitted three weeks prior to the planned visit. For visits during the holidays, we ask to have applications submitted six weeks prior.
  • All visitors should be free of contagious illnesses and exposure to contagious illnesses (chicken pox, measles, hepatitis) within three weeks prior to visit. Visitors are expected to cancel and reschedule planned visit if flu-like symptoms are experienced (fever, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, cough).
  • All members of the visiting group must be 18 years or older to have direct interaction with patients. 
  • Your group should be no larger than 6 people.
  • Visits are scheduled for weekdays only between the hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Patients are not always feeling well during your event/visit. Please do not be discouraged by the number of patients you see. Variations of number of children that could be seen can range from 1 to 40 depending on the day.
  • All gifts must be newly purchased items.
  • Gifts or presentations presented to patients should be appropriate for children of all ages, religions, political and social backgrounds.
  • The stress of hospitalization can be emotionally stressful and cause heightened fears for children. Content of gifts/presentations should not deal with potentially threatening themes such as death, separation, abandonment, illness, medical procedures or personnel.
  • Gifts and presentation content must be pre-approved by the Child Life staff. Edible treats are discouraged as many of our patients are on special diets. No homemade food items are allowed. Latex balloons are not permitted due to latex allergies.
  • No activities may include fire, candles, sharp objects or any other unsafe or potentially harmful materials.
  • To protect the privacy of our patients and provide patient confidentiality, photos are prohibited without a hospital signed consent form by the parent/guardian of all patients involved. Please specify on your application if your group is interested in taking pictures/video during your visit. Please understand that taking photos/videos is not guaranteed.
  • In addition to continue to provide privacy to our patients, all members of your group must sign a confidentiality consent prior to your scheduled visit.
These guidelines were established to maintain a calm, enriched and healing environment for our patients as well as the safety, privacy and well-being of the families. If your organization meets these guidelines please feel free to complete and submit an application for review.

If you have further questions regarding special visits, please email Kaitlyn MacPherson.