Good Grieving, developed in 1990, is a support program for children ages 5 through 18 and designed to help them deal more effectively with the death of a loved one. There are a series of four seasonal programs to promote a child's normal grieving process and enhance adjustment to the loss. Children are grouped by age and participate in activities that are intended to promote expression of feelings, understanding of the loss, good coping skills, and memory preservation. Each segment of the program focuses on one of the primary goals. Ideally, a child would attend four programs within the year. The child could begin with any program and work through the year.
The caregivers program, given on the same night as the children's program, facilitates family communication and support. The purpose of the program is to facilitate improved communication with the child and increase the families understanding of their grief. Caregivers, parents, grandparents, foster parents, and others learn about the process of children's grief and ways to support the grieving child. This program serves as an introduction to the children's program.
Program brochures, which include a registration form, are distributed one month prior to each scheduled program. The registration form contains both demographic information and some questions. Prior to the program, our program coordinator will reach out to parents/caregivers to conduct a telephone interview. This information is used to gather background information about the child's understanding of death, individual grief reactions, and ways in which the family has helped the child to cope. We will also solicit personal information about the child including circumstances of the death, methods of coping, special concerns and the child's understanding of the program.