Tender Living Care
What is peer support?
Peer support is a lot like it sounds. In the Tender Living Care Program at the Center for Grieving
Children, peers are not only similar in age but also similar in that they too are experiencing the illness of
someone close to them. Groups meet weekly and members get to know each other and each others
challenges. Group members receive as well as give support to each other. Children, teens and adults alike
learn from their peers about grieving, feelings and how to cope.
The Center for Grieving Children works with children and teens ages 3 - 18, their parents or
caregivers, and young adults ages 19-30. Children and teens are put into groups by age. Three through six
year olds are in one group, seven through nine year olds are a group, ten through thirteen year olds are a
group and fourteen through eighteen year olds are a group although sometimes the ages are modified
depending on the needs of our families. We also have adult support groups for the adults with illness and
another for the caregivers of the minor age children who attend The Center. We have a separate group for
young adults ages 19 – 30 who do not have children attending our programs.
These groups are not therapy. The groups are each facilitated by two or three trained volunteers.
The facilitators are not therapists or counselors. Their role is to provide a safe and caring environment so
group members can focus on their challenges, and the feelings experienced as a result of their challenges.
How might this benefit my child or teen?
We believe that children and teens benefit from attending our programs by meeting, talking and sharing
with other children and teens their own age who are experiencing the illness of someone close to them.
Having the opportunity to talk with other kids about loss and illness gives kids the chance to understand
and accept their loss and the feelings they are having at their own level. Having their own support group
lets them speak their minds and be heard as individuals. The groups help children and teens to feel less
When do the groups meet?
The groups meet once a week on Mondays. The groups start at 6:15pm and end at 7:15pm. Each person in
a family who would be attending a support group would come at the same time on the same night.
Families attend the support groups for varying lengths of time. The Tender Living Care Program runs in 8
week sessions and your family is welcome to attend multiple sessions. Length of participation is
dependent on your family and your needs.
How do I get my family involved?
The first step is calling The Center at 207-775-5216 and talking with our staff about our programs and
your family’s needs. We will walk you through the process from there. We make every effort to
determine the appropriateness of our groups for your family. Not every one is best served by peer
support. We do make some referrals to private counseling when we determine a family’s needs exceed
our services or when we feel that private counseling would be beneficial in addition to our peer groups.
We have your best interests at heart and hope to help you at this vulnerable and confusing time.