Programs to Help Children and Youth

The loss of a parent through death, or a changed parental relationship through divorce or separation is a traumatic experience for children, or for those in their teens or twenties. In dealing with these losses, they may become withdrawn, fearful, insecure, act out for no apparent reason, become confused or depressed, and often blame themselves.

Beginning Experience® programs for these age groups provide a place where help and support are offered to work through these emotions. A safe, secure environment allows caring acceptance and feelings of community to blossom. The aim of each program is to help sort out the feelings of loss and pain while strengthening self esteem and self acceptance.

Each program is presented by a team of children, youth or young adults and adults who have experienced this loss themselves and are willing to share their experience to help others. While older participants are able to write and talk about their feelings, younger participants often express feelings through actions or art. The programs are designed for differing age groups; in addition, participants are grouped by age to allow them to express their feelings based on maturity level.

  • Children's Beginning Experience® is a Saturday-Sunday afternoon overnight program for ages 8-12.
  • Young People's Beginning Experience® is a Friday night-Sunday afternoon weekend program for ages 12-18.
  • Young Adult Beginning Experience® is a Friday night-Sunday afternoon weekend program for ages 18-25 and up.
  • Young Adult Continued Beginnings is a six-week support program that continues the grief work begun on the Young Adult Beginning Experience® weekend.

Who Am I Now? is a set of three six-week support programs for early school age children (ages 5-8), middle school age children (ages 9-12) and teens (ages 13-17) who have lost a parent or intact family through death, separation or divorce.

For program schedule, click here.