BACKGROUND: Family-centered care (FCC) is widely used in pediatrics, but its applicability in all areas of pediatric care is little studied. AIMS: This study, based in Australia, aimed to develop and trial a tool to compare parents’ and staff’s perceptions of FCC in inpatient versus outpatient areas, hospital versus community, public (non-fee paying) versus private, areas with acute versus chronic admissions, and those with short-term versus long-term hospitalizations. METHODS: Based on two questionnaires used to examine concepts of FCC and using structured interviews and content analysis, a tool was designed that was subjected to rigorous validity and reliability testing. It was trialed with samples of 10 parents and 10 staff in each of the care areas. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The tool was found to effectively elicit valid responses that could be easily analyzed. Some data analysis was undertaken and significant results were found. However, because of the small sample sizes, few conclusions could be drawn.