About Us

To lead the way in ensuring that all children, teens, and families experience a healthy grieving process in a supportive environment.

No one grieves alone.

Three Things Make Jeff’s Place Unique:
Our focus on the whole family; all members attend together and receive group support. These sessions have a direct, profound, life-changing impact on the families.

♦ Each group is led by a Clinician and an extensively trained Volunteer who both specialize in grief, assuring that families get the most out of their time at Jeff’s Place.

♦ Jeff’s Place Founding Director, Jenny Kaplan PhD, is the Primary Investigator for an international research study evaluating the reliability and validity of the Inventory of Youth Adaptation to Loss (IYAL) as an assessment instrument of youth coping with grief and their social support relationships. The IYAL has the potential to be a useful instrument not just in assessing youth individually, but those who participate in both short and long-term grief and bereavement programs. The IYAL may also have potential to assess changes in individual feelings and social support relationships over time. The IYAL fills a gap, guaranteeing that Jeff’s Place is at the leading edge of best practices in the field with the knowledge of the best ways to support and measure program outcomes for grieving children and teens.

The Need
Many children feel isolated from both their peers and families because of a death. The feelings they experience are intense, varied and complicated. Our goal is to provide counseling to families in their greatest time of need. Untreated grief over the loss of a loved one can have serious consequences for a family, especially its younger members. National studies report pervasive negative emotions of sadness, anger, isolation, worry, and being overwhelmed for grieving children. They also have trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating on schoolwork, and become more likely to make unhealthy choices. Without adequate interventions, these children are at risk for negative outcomes, including traumatic grief, decreased school performance and lower self-esteem – and studies indicate that bereaved children are at a higher risk for mental health disorders than their non-bereaved peers, including depression, anxiety, anger and guilt.

  • One out of fifteen kids will experience the loss of a parent or sibling before the age of 18
  • One in every 1,500 secondary school students dies each year
  • 1.5 million children in the USA are living in a single-parent household because of the death of a parent
  • Framingham middle and high school students say that 20-25% of them have experienced the death of someone close over the past 12 months.

69% of teachers indicate their class has at least one student who has lost a parent, guardian, sibling or close friend in the past year, and that the students typically exhibit:

  • Withdrawal/ disengagement and less class participation
  • Absenteeism
  • Decrease in quality of work
  • Less reliability in turning in assignments
  • Greater incidence of acting out in the classroom

Our Philosophy

  • We believe that the expert on grief is the one who is grieving
  • We reassure that there is no right or wrong way to grieve
  • We promote peer-to-peer connections to decrease feelings of isolation
  • We build confidence and self-esteem through trusting and empathic bonds
  • We encourage kids to explore their grief through play
  • We help integrate memories into a new life story
  • We provide hope, healing, and meaningful growth for all whose lives we touch