Center for Grieving Children
New Hope for Kids' grief program is a support program for grieving children and their families.
New Hope for Kids' Grief Support Program provides a safe and supportive environment where children grieving the death of a loved one can share their experience with others facing the same feelings of loss. Offering a unique opportunity for children to begin and continue their grief journey, New Hope for Kids strives to provide our families with hope, healing and renewal.
We also extend support for the entire family through parent support groups, community awareness projects, information and referral services, as well as family events and summer camps throughout the year.
New Hope for Kids believes every child deserves the opportunity to grieve in a supportive and understanding environment. Some things to keep in mind when dealing with grief:
- Grief is a natural reaction to the loss of a loved one for children, AND adults.
- Within each individual is the natural capacity to heal.
- The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual.
- Caring and acceptance assist in the healing process.
New Hope for Kids encourages the expression of the grief experience verbally, and through creative, positive play within a peer group setting. The groups are open to grieving children ages 3 to 18.
A KIDS PERSPECTIVE ON NEW HOPE FOR KIDS
Dwayne, a cute six year old kindergarten student with potato chip crumbs on his face, is playing at New Hope for Kids before group starts. Dwayne and his father drive an hour each way to attend New Hope for Kids grief support group. When Dwayne is asked why he attends New Hope for Kids he simply says, "My mom died." He is part of the "littles group" of children aged 3-6 who participate in our grief program. When asked what he likes about New Hope for Kids he replies, "The sand room; I like to play with the monster trucks. I also get to make cartoons in the arts and crafts room. On my birthday I went to the birthday attic and got a spy toy." Even though Dwayne's mom died two years ago when he was four, New Hope for Kids is a safe place where Dwayne, and kids of all ages, can talk about their loved one and keep those special memories alive.
- Littles Groups - Children ages 3 to 6 who have had a parent, sibling or other significant person die. This is where they come to share their feelings through play.
- Middles Groups - Children ages 7 to 12 give and receive support as they share feelings about the death of someone important in their lives.
- Teen Groups - Teens ages 13-18 show their support for each other as they share their experiences regarding the death of a parent, sibling, best friend or other significant person in their life.
- Parent Groups - While each children's group is meeting, their surviving parent(s) or caregivers meet in a separate group with a licensed counselor. This is an opportunity to share the concerns and fears families and friends are facing at home, and to support one another.
The Center for Grieving Children is comprised of a small, core staff of professionals with advanced degrees in counseling and social work, as well as experience in bereavement counseling.
Extensively trained Grief Facilitators are the heart of this program. They are trained to facilitate groups, make families feel at home, and generally support the work of the program. Grief Facilitators come from all walks of life and contribute, on average, 6 hours a month to New Hope for Kids. If you are interested in becoming a Grief Facilitator or volunteer in another capacity, please call 407-599-0909.