Children's Grief Support
Our Children's Bereavement Services help children explore their feelings, develop healthy coping strategies, and find comfort and safety in learning that they are not alone.
Children often grieve differently from adults. When a loved one dies, it is often a child's first experience with death. Our grief support services for children, which are offered free of charge, are facilitated by trained staff and volunteers in group environments where they can meet peers who have suffered similar losses.
CaringMatters' programs for grieving children include:
Camp Erin© Montgomery County for Children
This overnight weekend camp for grieving children is part
of a national network of Camp Erin programs. It serves children
and teens ages 6-17 and offers age-appropriate discussions
and creative, fun-filled activities designed to help children share
their feelings with peers who have had similar experiences.
Camp Erin Montgomery County is a partnership between CaringMatters,
Good Grief Clubs for Children
This award-winning, seven-week bereavement program for children in grades K-12 is held in schools throughout Montgomery County, MD. Each group is co-facilitated by a trained CaringMatters volunteer and a school counselor who encourage the children to explore their feelings, develop healthy coping strategies, and find comfort and safety in learning that they are not alone.
Holidays and other special days can be especially challenging for grieving children. Anticipating and acknowledging these days can be a helpful way to promote sharing and communication. CaringMatters' Family Nights are designed for families who have experienced the death of a loved one. Each workshop is held approximately one week prior to a major holiday, so that families can learn coping tools, plan for how they will handle celebrations, and mark the absence of their loved one(s). Activities facilitated by trained volunteers encourage parents and children to create something together to take home, as a way to continue conversations about their loved ones and to help keep their memories alive. Each workshop is designed to be independent of the others, so that families can come to one or more as they choose.
During these interactive meetings, we will explore the impact of the loss on children; developmental reactions to the grief process; and strategies for dealing with the challenges of parenting while grieving. The workshops will include practice of the essential parenting skills of listening, expressing, problem-solving, and setting limits within the context of a grieving family. The series will be facilitated online by CaringMatters' trained staff on Wednesday evenings, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, with the first session scheduled for February 17, 2021. The series is offered free of charge, but space is limited. Registrants are expected to make a commitment to attend all eight sessions, as each week's theme builds on the next week's theme. Registration deadline is February 8, 2021.
The Power of Children's Storytelling: A Therapeutic Tool for
Supporting Grieving Children During Physical Distancing
Aired Live November 18, 2020
For School Counselors & Allied Mental Health Professionals
Working with Grieving Students
Presenter: Amanda Seyderhelm, Founder of Helping Children Smile Again, Play and Creative Arts Therapy and Training for Children, Families and Professionals
Moderator: Gilly Cannon, Director of Children's Bereavement Services, CaringMatters
AARP Maryland's Lunch & Learn Series
August 13, 2020, Children and Grief,
featuring Gilly Cannon, CaringMatters' Director of Children's Bereavement
CaringMatters has developed other useful video and printed resources on children's grief.