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The Den for Grieving Kids

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ImageThe Den For Grieving Kids provides a safe, caring place for children, teens and families to explore their feelings about the loss of a family member or friend and begin the journey toward healing. Children and their families participate in groups led by professionals and trained volunteer facilitators.  

The Den also offers support groups at area elementary, middle and high schools. The Den's focus is on supporting children and families and if necessary, our staff may refer family members for psychotherapy with a member of the Family Centers' counseling division or other mental health professionals upon request. Our professionals also provide trauma response services and speaking engagements on topics related to loss and grief for schools, businesses and other organizations, including houses of worship.  

The Den is a comprehensive bereavement resource center that does not charge a fee for participating individuals and families and relies on over 70 volunteers and numerous charitable contributions to cover its operating budget. Our volunteers and donors help make The Den an important community of belonging and we actively engage their support for its ongoing success.

Who Participates?
Connecticut and New York families who have experienced the death of a family member or friend are welcome to participate. The Den's programs are non-denominational and confidential.

When and Where?
The Den's evening support groups are held twice a month on Mondays and Wednesdays at Family Centers' Greenwich office (40 Arch Street). A pizza/salad dinner is served at 6:30 pm before the support groups begin at 7 pm. Please call 203-655-4693 if you are interested in joining one of The Den's programs. 

For information on our school based groups, educational, crisis intervention or consultation services please call The Den at 203-655-4693.

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ImageOur Guiding Principles

Our society often fails to understand or support the needs of a child and family in grief. Therefore, The Den For Grieving Kids follows principles adopted from the Dougy Center, a nationally renowned program for grieving children and their families.  At The Den, we believe that:

Grief is a natural reaction to the loss of a loved-one for both children and adults. 

Each of us has an innate capacity to heal from grief and loss.   

  • The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual.   
  • Caring and acceptance assist in the healing process.

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ImageEvening Support Groups

Children ages 3 to 18 are grouped according to age and participate in a variety of friendship-building and grief-related activities. Parents/caregivers meet separately to discuss issues germane to them.  Families participate bi-weekly on either Monday or Wednesday evening. The Den provides support for children and families who have experienced a death due to illness, accident, suicide or homicide. There is also a support group specifically for parents who have lost a child.  The Den also recently introduced a group for Spanish-speaking parents.

For additional information about The Den's evening support groups, call or Email Linda Weatherseed at 203-655-4693 to arrange an initial appointment.  For a listing of our 2013-2014 groups, click here

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ImageSchool-based Support Groups

The Den staff collaborates with school social workers, guidance counselors, principals and faculty to provide this confidential support service during the school day to students who are grieving the loss of a family member or friend. The Den currently offers on-site, school-day support groups at:

Greenwich: Central Middle School

Norwalk: Norwalk High School, Brien McMahon High School, 
Roton Middle School, Columbus Elementary School, Side-by-Side Community School


Stamford: Stamford High School, Westhill High School

The Den offers school-based bereavement support groups to public, private or parochial schools. For information or to arrange a consultation, call or email Linda Weatherseed at 203-655-4693.

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ImageSpeakers and Professional Workshops

The Den team and other Family Centers' professional staff are available to speak to groups at schools, businesses, organizations and houses of worship on bereavement, loss or other family issues.  Call 203-869-4848 for information.

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Trauma Response
 
When a school, business or other organization experiences a loss of one of its members, our bereavement specialists are available for consultation and debriefing sessions with students, employees or staff.  Call or email Katey Smith at 203-324-3167.

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ImageVolunteer Opportunities

Support Group Facilitator
Over 70 volunteers currently work at The Den For Grieving Kids. After completing a 12-hour training session, new facilitators join experienced facilitators and work in teams to create a safe environment for children, teens, and parents/caregivers to discuss their grief issues. On-going supervision and instruction help facilitators develop their capacity to be a helpful presence to the bereaved.

Time commitment for facilitators
Group facilitators are requested to make a one-year commitment for either Monday or Wednesday, biweekly, to maintain continuity with the children and families. Facilitators meet with each other before and after the support groups for preparation and debriefing sessions. Please arrive at 6 p.m. and remain until 9 p.m.
 
Greeter
The Den greeters help to create a community atmosphere to allow families to relax and feel welcome. Greeters set up and serve a pizza dinner that precedes the support group sessions and they also clean up after the dinner. Most importantly, they welcome participants as they arrive and interact with children, parents or other family members. Teen volunteers are welcome.

Time commitment for greeters
Greeters make an ongoing commitment to either Mondays or Wednesdays twice a month from 6:00 until 7:15 p.m.

For more information or to volunteer, call or email Jennifer Flatow or 203-869-4848.

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ImageDonate to The Den
The Den is a comprehensive bereavement resource center that does not charge a fee for participating individuals and families and relies entirely on charitable contributions to cover its operating budget. If you would like to make a donation to The Den For Grieving Kids or become a corporate sponsor, call or email Jim Vivier, vice president and director of development at 203-869-4848 x 2214.  You can also donate online using our secure Online Giving Form.
 
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