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Growing through loss, together.

Children have unique reactions to loss and grief. They need guidance to navigate their complex feelings and to understand loss in the contexts of their lives and their family relationships. As young persons with limited life experience, children need special tools to cope with grief. It is our mission to provide them to children and families in need of support.

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Avow’s Children’s Services program, designed for children ages 5-17, provides support and companionship to children who are grieving the loss of a parent, sibling, friend, or relative through illness, accident, suicide, or homicide.  Avow also helps children process and heal from other types of loss, including divorce, the loss of a friend, instability in the foster care system, and deployed parents and family members.  Avow Children’s Services is committed to supporting children through all types of loss experiences.

About Children’s Grief

Grief is a normal response for children who are losing or have lost an important person through death.  Often, however, the adults in their families are grieving too and may not be able to support their children fully.  This may cause children to feel isolated in their grief.  They often are not equipped to handle the intense emotions of grief, nor are the aware of what behaviors are considered “normal” responses.  Giving them support and providing answers to their questions helps children grieve in healthy and adaptive ways.

Children also experience grief differently than adults.  Depending on their age, they may have a limited understanding of death and may have misperceptions about end of life.  Children may also “revisit” an earlier death of a loved one as they grow older.  Grief support and education on the grieving process enables the child to reprocess the earlier event with greater understanding.

Children who are not allowed to grieve or who are not supported appropriately through grief often express their emotions in other ways.  They may become:

  • Disruptive in class
  • Argumentative with their peers
  • Depressed and withdrawn
  • Unable to effectively attend to learning at school

We can help!  Call us at (239) 261-4404 or email us at ChildrensServices@avowcares.org.