Hope & Healing
Family Information Packet

Family Information Packet




The Alcove is a safe place where children and their families, who are grieving a death can receive comfort and support through the healing process.

The principles of The Alcove are:

  • Grief is a natural reaction to the loss of a loved one.
  • Within each individual is the natural capacity to heal oneself
  • The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual
  • Caring and acceptance assist in the healing process


The Alcove offers peer support groups for children, teens and families who are grieving the death of a loved one. Children and teens are grouped by ages: 3-6, 7-10, 11-14, and 15-18, while their parents or guardians meet in separate groups to gain support for themselves and learn how to help their children cope with their loss. Groups are facilitated by volunteers who have received 30 hours of training.

Our children’s groups consist of talking circles and time for unstructured play activities. Play activities, which include arts and crafts, games, storytelling and sand play, are very important grief work times for the children. Children express their grieving through the powerful language of creative play with each other.

Our teen groups provide time to discuss loss and grief issues with peers and trained adult facilitators.

Additional Support and Emergency Services

The Alcove offers peer support groups for bereaved families. It does not offer therapy or counseling. We recognize that a family may need more than this in processing their grief. A family member in grief may have suicidal feelings and/or thoughts. Sometimes family members begin misusing drugs or alcohol after a death. We believe these issues are counter-productive to a healthy grief process and need to be addressed in private
treatment. Sometimes, the difficult feelings of grief precipitate a crisis in a family. If a family seeks additional support, The Alcove Directors can offer the names and phone numbers of therapists familiar with the grief process who are practicing in the area.Center for Grieving Children and Families


Night of Service: Bereavement groups are held every other week.

Arrival Time: Families arrive at 6:30pm for a light meal. Families gather for Opening Circle at approx. 7:00pm. They then split into separate age related groups for 1 hour. Family group members gather together at 8:00pm for Closing Circle.

Family Groups: Children are divided into developmentally appropriate groups; (3-6), (7-10), (11-14) & (15-18).

Attendance: Consistent attendance is important. If you are unable to come Please call us during the day leaving a message if necessary.

Adult on Premises: If you have a child 15 or younger, an adult needs to stay in the building while the child is in their group. On occasion a child has an emotional or physical situation that would prevent the child from participating in their group for the whole hour. In such instances the accompanying adult is instrumental in making sure the child’s needs are met.

Peer Support: Each group is facilitated by two or three volunteers who have had many hours of training. We offer peer support groupsnot counseling. Our volunteers are not professional counselors.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality is very important to The Alcove. Information shared in groups is strictly confidential and should not be discussed Outside the individual group setting.

Share/Pass: Group members have the freedom to share or pass during their Individual group setting.

Cost: There is no cost for attending our groups.

Questions: You are welcome to call at any time with questions or concerns for your family regarding our groups at: 609-484-1133


Confidentiality is of utmost importance to The Alcove. Based upon our basic human right of privacy, it is what allows a safe environment for communication in our groups. Participants in our program should know that what is spoken in any group (to whomever and by whomever) stays within the group. This means that facilitators or staff will not repeat what a person has said to others in the group. It also means that participants should be careful not to talk about other group members outside the group. We encourage you instead to talk about what You said or did in the group.

We accept this obligation to honor confidentiality for our children, teens, and adults to assure the ongoing success of the support groups. The Alcove staff and volunteers are available to discuss with you their impressions or your child or teen in a general manner, but we will not disclose specifics of what is said or done in groups. Your child or teen can discuss with you whatever specifics he or she chooses.

Your right to privacy will be strictly maintained. There are, however some important exceptions to privacy which are explained below.

Exception #1: If we learn that someone with whom we are working has a specific intent to bring harm to himself/herself, we reserve the right to inform other family members and to make appropriate referrals, if necessary.

Exception #2: If there is a suspicion of any physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect.

Exception #3: If we have reason to be concerned about the drug and/or alcohol use or Abuse by a child or teen, we reserve the right to inform the parent.

Exception #4: If information is ordered by the court, including a subpoena, we will attempt to contact you about the order. If you oppose the release, the court may nevertheless require compliance with the order.

Exception #5: If we learn that someone participating in the program might commit a violent act, we may take steps to protect the intended victim against such danger or inform police, or both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *