Jeff’s Place offers open-ended peer support groups, twice monthly, for children ages 5-19 and their caregivers who are coping with the death of a meaningful relationship. Each group is facilitated by a professionally trained volunteer and supervised by a master’s level clinician.
The ratio of child to facilitator is small, based on the age and the needs of the participants.
Every evening begins with a pizza dinner provided by Jeff’s Place to be shared by the families and facilitators. Families often state that mealtime is a particularly difficult time after the death of a family member and this time provides an opportunity for families to join together in a supportive environment. After the meal, the families participate in an opening candle-lighting ritual and then move to their individual groups. Simultaneously, we offer a peer support group for adults to discuss their own experiences, as well as the challenges of parenting grieving children and teens.
Children’s groups engage in art, music or play to express themselves. Our teen groups often choose to explore their grief through discussion, memory sharing, and/or music and art. Children/teens are encouraged to participate and share at their own pace. At the conclusion of the individual group sessions, all of the families and facilitators gather for a closing ritual.
There is no fee charged for participation in our support groups. Jeff’s Place is a child-centered, family focused, community-based bereavement program and welcomes all families regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression and socioeconomic status.
The Kids Club is specifically designed to meet the needs of our younger children, typically ages 3-8. This groups runs, twice monthly, in the afternoon and uses art, play, and sand tray to explore and express the grieving child’s experience. As the children are meeting, caregivers participate in their own group.
Jeff’s Place offers school-based grief support groups. We are currently partnered with two schools within the Metrowest community to run groups during the school day.
Support groups are open to children and teens (ages 3-18), and their adult caregivers who are coping with the death of a meaningful relationship. Currently, our program offers support groups for the death of a parent, sibling, and concurrent groups for parents/guardians. On average, our families usually wait 3 months or more after a death to start our program. However, we have no set time line and families may join our program years after a death.
For more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Melissa Kennedy Panto, at firstname.lastname@example.org