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Children & Youth Grief Support

We believe a child old enough to love is old enough to grieve.

We provide opportunities for children and their families to share their grief stories, connect,

and learn healthy coping strategies to bring healing on their unique grief journey.

Our services are designed to allow children and youth to explore their feelings in a supportive environment through different forms of expression therapy. They will have the opportunity to develop skills to support them with their grief in safe and healthy ways. 

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Our Children & Youth Grief support services include in-person one-to-one companioning, as well as a variety of support groups specifically designed for ages between 3 and 18. Throughout the year, there are additional events planned to match the needs of our current clients. 

Grief Support 

One-to-One Companioning ages 3-18

Our Children and Family Services Program offers anticipatory grief and grief support for ages 3-18. Specifically, we provide programs to comfort children and youth on their personal journey of grief and loss. Services offered include 8 sessions of one-to-one companioning where we explore different aspects of play and art therapy. Children and youth have opportunities to explore their grief feelings and develop coping strategies. In addition, we cover topics relating to naming and regulating emotions, and when needed, we provide resources to caregivers in order to support children at home. Although we are not therapists, our team offers excellent companioning support, a listening ear, and empathy to children and youth. 

Grief Support Events for Children, Youth and Families 

Following eight weeks one-to-one sessions, current clients and their families may be invited to engage in group activities such as: 

Family Art Night 

Children and youth, along with their families, are invited to create art and special commemorative pieces together, in memory of their loved one. 

Back to Nature ages 7-13 Limited Registration 

In the spring, children and youth can build relationships and connect with others who are experiencing grief through activities such as canoeing. At this event, they will work on a commemorative piece for their loved ones and have opportunities to express their grief through art, creativity, and mindfulness in nature.

Adventure Day Camp ages 10-18 Limited Registratio

In the spring, youth are invited on a journey of facing their fears. Sometimes our grief journey can be scary, just like a high ropes course, but this obstacle course will encourage clients to take one step at a time. This adventure course supports youth in finding healthy ways of working through their grief within a supportive community. 

Families have the opportunity to release a butterfly in honour of a loved one. 
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Walk in memory, walk-in support. The Move for Hospice has become an annual tradition for families and friends to honour the memories of their loved ones. Walk, run, or stroll. 
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Teddy Bear Picnic  Limited Registratio

In the summer, children and youth are invited to bring their families to adopt a bear in honour of their loved one. Bears are personalized for each child with bandanas and adoption certificates. With plenty of activity stations for children and youth to enjoy with their families, this is sure to be a day to remember their loved one and share in some smiles. 

Equine Therapy Camp ages 8-18  Limited Registratio

In the summer, we partner with Empowered by Horses and Friends to provide an opportunity for children and youth to explore emotions and utilize their connection with animals to understand their grief. Empowered by Horses and Friends excels in creating a safe place for young people to not only feel included but begin the process of healing from trauma, isolation, and mental health issues. 

Memorial Family Event Limited Registratio

In the fall, families are invited to attend an event with various activity stations in recognition of their grief journey. 

Family Christmas Event  Limited Registratio

An evening of fun, filled with games, hot chocolate, and snacks. Each child and youth will go home with a special Christmas gift. 

Child & Youth Grief Support Groups and Training 

Middle School Grief Support Group 

The Middle School Grief Support Group is designed to teach and support middle school students about grief and their journey; to bring awareness to their thoughts and feelings; to reassure them that grief is normal and complicated. The benefit of school-centered support groups is that they can decrease a student's isolation, offer peer support, and help connect students to school resources 

Teen Grief Peer Support Training

Teen Grief Peer Support Training is a 20-hour training program that has been tailored to provide grade 11 and 12 students with a basic introduction to grief; loss; and practical hands-on skills, knowledge, and strategies to provide peer support to grieving children and teens. Following the training, students are equipped to volunteer in some capacity at Abbotsford Hospice Society. The training and volunteer opportunities may be used to satisfy the Career Exploration component of the Career Life Connections course. Please connect with your school counsellor at the beginning of the school year if you wish to join this training.
 

For more information about our Children and Youth Program 

email: info@abbotsfordhospice.org  or call 604-852-2456 

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