Healing Hearts Children's Support Group

Next Meeting: December 11, 2021 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Meets one Saturday a Month

For children ages 6-8 who have lost a parent or sibling.

Hospice SLO County will be offering 4 sessions of group counseling for children ages 6-8 who have lost a parent, custodial grandparent, or sibling. The program will be offered free of charge and will take place on Zoom starting on Saturday, November 13, 2021, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. The other sessions will take place at the same time on December 11, 2021, January 15, 2022, and February 19, 2022. Children may attend all or any of the four sessions.

The Healing Hearts program recognizes that children perceive and handle death of a loved one differently than adults do. For that reason, this program helps them cope with loss in the company of their peers. The sessions will be facilitated by Andrea Heinlein, LICSW, a grief counselor at Hospice SLO County and will provide children the opportunity to participate in activities that ultimately help them express their thoughts and feelings, adapt and cope to the many changes in their lives, and memorialize their person who has died.

During the initial session, the children will introduce themselves and talk briefly about the person they lost; if this is something they feel comfortable doing. In each session, Ms. Heinlein will read an age appropriate book to the children about loss and healing. The participants will then have a chance to talk about the book and their own circumstances regarding their own loss. For the remainder of the sessions, the children will work on constructing their own book about the family member who has died, sharing such things as their favorite color, favorite flavor of ice cream, profession or work, hobbies and talents.

“When someone a child loves dies, grieving is natural and expected. Grief is a normal response to loss, and the process should be encouraged. We plan to continue offering this group on a monthly basis throughout the school year and hope to expand to include other ages going further,” said Shannon McOuat, Executive Director.

For more information and to register your child, please call Andrea Heinlein at (805) 544-2266.