“Two days before the parent teacher conference the teacher said not to worry, ‘those other issues aren’t a problem anymore so I won’t even have to talk about them’. I think it’s because of this place.”

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Children, teens and families who have experienced the death of someone special  have a caring place to go for help, hope, and healing in New York City. A Caring Hand, The Billy Esposito Foundation meets bereaved children and families wherever they now are in their grief. In a caring and knowledgeable environment we support them on their emotional journey toward the future. 50% of the youth under age 21 in an urban inner city were found to experience the sudden unexpected death of a close relative or friend. Those children and families in New York City do not have to be alone in their grief. In our bereavement program, we provide individual and group services and consultation on all grief-related issues. Please click here to learn more about our program and the services. Families can contact us at any time to find out how to join our community of support. Volunteers are also vital to creating a safe and welcoming place and also are invited to contact us throughout the year to learn how to be involved in our work. HELPING CHILDREN AFTER TRAGEDY By Dr. Robin F. Goodman We have all been struck by the tragic events in the news and offer the following suggestions to the adults who will guide their children.

  • Talk to your children: Start with a general statement or question then listen to what they say or ask. Look for opportunities to check in more than once.
  • Be honest: Use age appropriate language, share basic information, and correct misinformation. It’s OK to say “I don’t know” and focus on what you do know.
  • Reassure: Using routine and structure to reassure children they will be all right, you are all right, and things in their world will continue. Remind them of the people that take care of them and how to get help.
  • Return to the familiar: Getting back to familiar tasks and distracting or even fun activities provides balance and perspective.
  • Use media sense: Turn off or limit TV viewing especially for little ones. Monitor what news and social media children and teens are watching or using.
  • Model coping: Adults have feelings and can help children by modeling appropriate ones and especially how to cope with upset or sadness in healthy ways.
  • Encourage expression: Children may more easily express their thoughts and feelings in pictures, music, play and poems. Be careful not to press for details but rather validate how they feel and problem solve ways to feel better.
  • Stay connected: Being connected to others – friends, family, a faith community – can be especially healing and powerful when feeling upset, overwhelmed and alone.
  • Provide comfort: Hugs – given and received -  help everyone, young and old.
  • Find the good: Look for stories of hope. Cope with kindness. When able, be the hope – reach out a hand, offer help, care for others day to day.

We continue to be here as a resource throughout the year. Our program is supported by generous grants from The Dillon Fund, A Little HOPE, Inc., the National Alliance for Grieving Children, and the New York Life Foundation You can follow us on Facebook.