Grief Support for Children and Teens
Young people experience physical and emotional reactions to grief and grieve differently than adults. Being in a support group with others their own age who have also lost someone important to them helps them know they are not alone.
Hope uses a peer-based support model that relies on sharing among children with similar experiences. Our grief support groups help children and teens understand their emotions and learn healthy coping skills. Through these groups, they have an opportunity to engage in age-appropriate activities that help them process their feelings. Each group is led by facilitators who have special training in working with children and teens.
Consistent attendance is recommended to foster camaraderie and trust, but a specific start date is not mandatory. Each session is 90 minutes in length. Groups are divided into:
- Children: ages 5 to 10
- Adolescents: ages 11 to 13
- Teens: ages 14 to 18
A brief assessment of your child is needed prior to enrollment. Please call our Grief Support Team at (925) 829-8770 for more information or to schedule an assessment.
Support for Parents/Guardians
While the children and teens attend their support groups, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend separate parallel sessions that provide insights on child grief and to receive support through their own grieving process as well.
When it comes to grief and loss, we believe:
- Grief is a natural reaction to death;
- Everyone processes death and loss differently;
- Sharing your story of pain and loss helps lessen suffering
- Being in community with others helps process grief.
When is the right time to begin?
Each child and family grieves differently. We believe that the family is the best judge of when they are ready to participate in a grief support group.
How long is a family expected to attend?
Each individual processes grief in their own way and time. Children and families choose when to start and when to stop attending Hope’s support groups. When a family is enrolled, we expect regular attendance. Continuity is important to building a peer group into a supportive environment for the grief work. Please call ahead if you and your child will be absent.
What if a child or teen needs private therapy?
Hope does not provide private therapy or counseling. We can offer a list of therapists who counsel children, teens, or adults with grief issues.
Is there a cost to attend grief support groups?
There is no fee for our grief support services. With much gratitude, we accept donations so that we may continue to offer grief support to others at no cost.