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Valley Home Care Launches Stepping Stones Support Group for Parents Who Have Lost a Child


September 6, 2012 -- Grief is a natural response to the loss of a loved one. But nothing is more devastating than the death of a child.  That’s why Valley Home Care’s Maternal Child Health program is augmenting its groundbreaking Butterflies program with a Support Group designed to address the particular needs of parents who have lost a child. 

Stepping Stones is designed to provide a safe setting where parents can get support, come to terms with their loss, and begin to work towards healing.  “By understanding the unique nature of grieving over the loss of a child and sharing their experiences with others in similar situations,” explains Mary Ann West, Butterflies Coordinator, “parents can begin to pick up the pieces and rediscover a sense of purpose and meaning.”

Facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a parent who has survived a similar loss, Stepping Stones will meet twice a month beginning in October.  The group is open to all parents who are grieving the death of a child age 22 or younger.  Each 90-minute session will begin with the exploration of a topic related to grief and healing, followed by interactive discussion.  Topics may include:

  understanding the differences in how family members deal with loss,
  helping siblings cope with grief,
  getting through holidays and special occasions,
  avoiding blame,
  the importance of nurturing yourself,
  utilizing support systems, and
  sharing positive memories.

Parents seeking more information on the Stepping Stones support group may contact Henry Fersko-Weiss, Manager of Social Services, at 201-291-6243, or Mary Ann West, RN, MSN, CHPN, Butterflies Program Manager, at 201-291-6364.


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