Our Founding Director, Jenny Kaplan, grew up in MetroWest with her parents and two brothers. The eldest, Jeff, drowned just shy of his 18th birthday. Her family’s story of loss, healing, integration and growth propelled Jenny into the field of Social Work and Bereavement Services.
After many years at FRIENDS WAY, a respected, comprehensive children’s bereavement center in Rhode Island that she also founded, Jenny was thrilled for the opportunity to offer similar support for the grieving children, teens and families in the MetroWest community.
Her work started with a satellite support group run by The Children’s Room, which was eventually adopted by Manitou Experience, a program of Manitou Camps Foundation (link to “Resources” page with info), a weeklong overnight camp for grieving boys, as a year-round extension of the program.
Jeff’s Place began in 2010 with 6 families and 9 children, but clearly met a need for the numerous grieving children and families in the MetroWest community as the number of families contacting us for services steadily increased. This prompted Jeff’s Place to become an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2011 and move to Framingham, MA in 2013. Jeff’s Place has now served over 550 individuals from 38 cities and towns in and around MetroWest through our free support groups, individual counseling, educational trainings and crisis intervention. Our families come from a wide diversity of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds; grief and loss does not discriminate. We welcome all grieving families with children and tailor our services to their individual needs. If you are in need of Jeff’s Place services, please click on our Family Application link, fill out what you can, and submit it.