Sarah Flanagan, MSW, MPA, PLMHP
Ted E. Bear Hollow, A Center for Grieving Children and Teens
• Explain the benefits of social programming for
those experiencing grief and loss.
• Identify tools useful for recruiting and screening
participants, developing safety guidelines and
policies, and evaluating the effectiveness of your
• Develop a list of activity ideas and/or themes that
could be used.
What is social
• Organized, informal activities that provide
opportunities for socializing with others of a
similar group or cohort.
• May incorporate or address an issue without
necessarily focusing on providing support or
• Fun! Also reinforce appropriate social
interactions, positive decision-making and critical
Examples of Social
• Bingo or Bunco games in a retirement
• Trips to the zoo for children with special needs
• Pool parties for a Girl Scout/Boy Scout troop
• Friday night dinners for a widows/widowers
• Movie outings for at-risk teens
• Mutual aid self-help groups are in and of themselves small
communities in which members make friends and gain a sense
of connectedness to others (Humphreys, 1997).
• Involvement in supportive human relationships have been
thought to protect stressed individuals against depression
(Belle ,1982; Brown, Bhrolchain, & Harris 1975; Pearlin &
• Social networks can provide us with social support resources
such as assistance in problem solving and reassurance of
worth, and can support many positive social identities that are
critical to self-concept and self-esteem (Hirsch, 1981).
Research: Support After a
• Following a significant death or loss, taking care of oneself,
acknowledging the feelings, seeking support and surrounding
oneself with positive people will help (Russell, n.d.).
• There is increasing evidence that spending money on programs
for people in need or at risk can yield long-term returns for
individuals, society, and the economy (MacArthur Foundation,
• Resilience entails responding to trauma with active, task-
oriented, purposeful action in concert with others, while
consciously preserving one’s calm, one’s judgment, one’s
connection with others, a sense of meaning, and a high degree
of responsibility for others and for self (Kopp, 1997).
• Adolescent needs: feeling valued as a person, forming close and
lasting human relationships, establishing a place in a productive
group, being useful to others, making use of support systems,
making informed choices, and believing in a future with real
opportunities (Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1995).
• As a society, our role is to find the factors that protect youth from
adversity and that can promote their positive development…to
translate this knowledge into programs that engage much of the
breadth and resources of the system of influences affecting a
youth’s life, and to design activities that will effectively enable him
or her to move forward in a healthy manner (Lerner & Galambos,
• Protective factors decrease the likelihood of an adolescent’s
engaging in problem behaviors by providing for the youth
personal and social controls against the occurrence of problem
behaviors. As the presence of protective factors increases, there
are decreases in adolescents’ involvement not only in alcohol and
drug abuse but in delinquency and sexual precocity (Jessor,
• Well-designed programs promote positive developments in
knowledge, abilities and skills, self-esteem, social relationships,
and the opportunity to contribute productively to self, family,
community and society (Dryfoos, 1994).
What about grief & loss?
Organizations can assess the needs of the populations you
serve. You can develop social programming by any of the
• Age/Developmental Level
little ones, elementary, preteens, teens, adults
• Types of Death
illness (cancer, diabetes, ALS, COPD), suicide, homicide, accident, etc.
• Relationship to Deceased
parent, child, sibling, grandparent, spouse/partner, friend, etc.
• Special Events
annual birthday party or memorial ceremony, summer picnics, sporting
events, guest speakers, horseback riding, adventure/challenge course)
What are the benefits?
• Why would you implement this kind of program?
• What have you already seen or do you anticipate
to see based on your population?
• What can you identify as benefits of offering
Ted E. Bear Hollow Model
Teen Night Purpose
• To provide a safe social environment for grieving teens to get
together to meet new friends and engage in a variety of fun
Meeting Dates and Times
• 2nd Wednesday of each month from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Registration & Attendance Policies
• All teens must have attended at least one of the following TEBH
programs: one evening weekly/biweekly support group series, at
least three monthly support groups, or Camp Hope
Teen Night Schedule 2010
Jan – Pet Therapy July – “Survivor” Games
Feb – Creative Comfort Aug – Art Journaling
Sept – Video Production
Mar – Drumming
Oct – Dia de los Muertos
Apr – Dreaming Pots
Nov – “So You Think You Can
May – Movie Night & Pizza Dance” hip hop lessons
Party Dec – White Elephant Holiday
June – wii Night Party
• How TEBH developed its social programming:
(Day Camps Support Groups Camp Hope Teen
• Considering the evolution of your agency:
o How might you develop your program or build off what you
already have in place?
o Will this be a continuation, a restructuring or a new
Where do you begin?
• What group(s) would you target first?
• What types of activities would be a good fit at
organization in the next year?
• What might be a better fit 2-5 years down the
or would require more time and planning?
What works for you?
• How could you incorporate experiential learning and
expressive healing activities into your social programs?
• What kinds of activities could you arrange that would
expose your group to a new or different experience?
• How could you tap into resources in your community?
Are there people who may be willing to donate their
services or offer you a reduced fee?
What’s in the blueprints?
• Who’s support or buy-in do you need?
Administrator, Board of Directors, Community Partners
• Who’s going to be in charge of program
Agency staff? Volunteer? Individual or collaborative effort?
• How do you secure funding?
Grants, Donations, Events, Corporate Sponsorships
Who is responsible for soliciting and/or securing program
Building safe, effective
• How do you develop safety guidelines, policies &
Can you piggy-back off current policies or do you need to write
entirely new ones? What areas should be considered?
How do you communicate these with participants and/or
• How do you recruit and screen participants?
What are your guidelines for participation? Who will be eligible to
participate in your program?
How do screen for appropriate members? Who addresses
problem behavior or concerns?
• How do you measure outcomes or evaluate the
Don’t forget the details . . .
• Why offer this program? • For Whom? For How
• What is going to
happen? • Led by Whom?
• What supplies do you
• Supervised by Whom?
• How much does it
• Where will it be held?
• When will it occur? (Participants? Agency?)
• How do people
Let’s hear from you!
• For whom?
• How often?
• What are 5 social programming activity ideas?
• Consent to Participate
• Information Form
• Safety Guidelines, Policies &
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Brown, G.W., Bhrolchain, M.N., and Harris, T. (1977). A study of depression in women. Sociology, 11(3), 527-532.
Humphreys, K. (1997). Individual and social benefits of mutual aid self-help groups. Social Policy, 27, 12-19.
Kandt, V.E. (1994). Adolescent bereavement: Turning a fragile time into acceptance peace. The School Counselor, 41, 203-211.
Kopp, R.R. (1997). Healing community: An Adlerian approach. Individual Psychology, 53(1), 23-32.
Lerner, R.M., & Galambos, N.L. (1998). Adolescent development: Challenges and opportunities for research, programs and policies.
Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 413-446.
Mills, J.C. Dreaming pots: A natural healing approach for helping children with fears and trauma. Expressive Art Techniques, 152-158.
Ringler, L. & Hayden, D. (2000). Adolescent bereavement and social support: Peer loss compared to other losses. Journal of
Adolescent Research, 15(2), 209-230.
Russel, M. (n.d.) Loss and grieving: A healing process. Retrieved from http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Loss-and-Grieving--A-
Strengthening policy through research: Measuring social benefits. (2009). MacArthur Foundation.