The families and young adults who are seeking support from The Kids’ Place come to us with a wide- range of losses and family situations. Some children have lost family members after long struggles with cancer or AIDS. Some families have experienced sudden losses due to car wrecks or heart attacks. Some have lost brothers, sisters, while others are suffering the loss of a parent or grandparent. We are working with families whose losses were as recent as two weeks prior to them coming to us, while others lost loved ones many years ago. Grief has no specific time line. We accept families where they are in their grief journey.
How Does The Kids’ Place Help Grieving Families?
Children meet others who understand how they feel. Children experiencing the death of a loved one or friend very often feel alone and isolated. Your children may feel sad, scared, confused, angry and even guilt over the death. They may hide their feelings because they do not want to burden you or add more grief to you or simply they do not know how to express what they are feeling appropriately.
What is The Kids’ Place?
The Kids’ Place is a faith-based grief support group for children, teens and their adult care givers as well as young adults that are experiencing mourning after the death of a loved one or friend. The Kids’ Place offers a safe and supportive environment where the everyone can recognize and learn to share their feelings.
When are groups?
Sessions begin in September and run until May with a total of 16 sessions meeting twice a month.
Is The Kids’ Place a counseling center or a place for play therapy?
No, it is not a counseling center, and we are not offering professional therapy sessions. While many of our staff and volunteer facilitators work in one of the helping professions, we provide safe groups led by caring volunteers who have been equipped to lead peer support groups. We can provide referrals to local professionals for families that request counseling services.
What kind of training have the group facilitators had?
Training includes information about children and grief, developmental needs of children, art therapy, play therapy, group dynamics, and listening skills. On- going training includes outside reading, viewing of videos, and participation in additional training seminars. All of our volunteers have had a complete OSBI background check.
Who can come to The Kids’ Place?
We offer grief support groups to children, teens, and their families who have experienced the death of someone close to them—a parent, grandparent, sibling, or other close relative or friend. Children from ages 4 through teens will find a support group designed just for them. We also offer support for young adults from the age of 18 to approximately 25 years old. This grief support center is available to everyone, without charge, regardless of race, religion, or economic status.
How do you join a group?
Families and young adults who are interested in attending The Kids’ Place need to complete the Registration forms. (Support Group Application) New families are required to attend orientation, which will provide an overview of our support group program, and visit the houses where our groups meet.
What will happen on a typical evening?
Twice each month, the adult family members will bring family members attending to The Kids’ Place. After the family signs in and everyone gets a name tag, everyone goes to their own support group room. Children, teens, and adults attend the group appropriate for their age, led by trained facilitators.
Young Adult groups also meet twice a month. Close family or friends may attend as part of the young adult’s support system. Support personnel will be discussed during orientation.
After a time of sharing, group and individual activities will occupy most of the rest of the approximately 75-minute group time. Activities may include but are not limited to working with clay, music, games, projects in memory of loved ones, puppets, and recreation.
Sharing times in groups emphasize discussion and peer interaction. Participants are given freedom to share memories or express feelings and concerns.
Is someone available to visit with our group to tell us more about The Kids’ Place?
With advance notice, someone from The Kids’ Place will be happy to visit with your group. Printed materials are available to provide further information about The Kids’ Place. Feel free to write us (CONTACT US) or call 405-844-5437. We are an all-volunteer organization and will respond as soon as possible.