What is your program for children and teens?
The CBC provides peer support groups for children/teens from Kindergarten through College age. We provide no private therapy or counseling. Children and teens meet peers and their families who also have experienced the death of a parent, primary caretaker, brother, sister, friend, or other loved one because of illness, accident, suicide or homicide, etc.
Elementary school age children are grouped together. During the weekly, 90-minute sessions these children experience a talking circle time and can also express their feelings and thoughts through various activities such as art, stories, free play etc.
Middle school age children have their own group that follows a similar structure as that of the younger children. They are offered activities through which they can express themselves and interact with same age peers.
Teens / Young adults have their own groups. Most teens choose to talk together during their sessions rather than engage in activities, although these are available at their option. The Young adult groups talk together during their sessions. These groups also meet for 90 minutes.
All groups and activities are facilitated by trained volunteers and the professional staff of The Children's Bereavement Center.
How much does participation cost?
We do not charge a fee for participation in our Support Groups. We invite families and friends to make tax-deductible contributions. Contributions are voluntary. No family is ever denied services because they cannot contribute. Because the Center is a non-profit organization, we rely on contributions from families and the community to provide the $1,200 per year needed to cover the costs for each child/teen participant. Because we provide support groups and not therapy, insurance policies do not cover our services.
Is there a long waiting list?
No. Orientation sessions are held monthly. Within 4 weeks from the initial call and completion of our "Telephone Intake Information Form" a family will be able to attend an orientation. Once a family has completed orientation and returned the application forms, they are offered an opportunity to attend.
How long after the death does a family need to wait before calling?
A family can call and start the process for participation as soon as they think they are ready. We believe each person and family grieves differently, and the family is the best judge of when they are ready to deal with the death in a peer support group forum.
How long is a family expected to attend groups?
We believe in the uniqueness of the intensity and duration of grief for each individual and family. Families choose when to start and when to stop attending. If a family is enrolled in a group, we expect regular attendance. A family is expected to call if they must be absent. Continuity of attendance and punctuality is important to build the peer group into a supportive environment for healing.
Groups are open-ended and participants may attend for as long as they wish. We strongly recommend a minimum commitment of 4 consecutive sessions. We have found this to be effective in helping children attach to The Center's process.
What if my child/teen needs private therapy?
We have a list of referral resources who counsel children, teens, and/or adults with grief issues. At your request we will provide you contact information about individual therapists and resources. We do not endorse therapists, but provide you information by which you can select a therapist for your particular needs.