Mission

The Children’s Room creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen, or family has to grieve alone.

Values

The Children’s Room’s work is based on a foundation of strong values that guide our work, our communication, and our connection to our families.

Communication.  Connection.  Empowerment.  Honesty.  Intention.  Respect.

Vision

The Children’s Room was founded on the belief that every child, teen, and family grieving a death deserves a safe, supportive, and understanding environment.

We seek to broaden our impact by expanding our support services and educational outreach and deepening our community collaborations.

We aspire to be a leader in the field of grief support and a catalyst in transforming society’s understanding of grief.

We envision a world where understanding and patience allow loss to be integrated into our lives and lead to greater compassion, hope, and growth.

The Children's Room drawing

History

foundersThe Children’s Room was founded by an impassioned group of caregivers who, in 1993, received training from the renowned Oregon-based Dougy Center for Grieving Children. The name “The Children’s Room” was chosen because services were initially provided in a single room at Hospice West in Waltham, Massachusetts.

By 1995, work began on making The Children’s Room a nonprofit organization, and in April 1999 The Children’s Room opened as an independent 501(c)(3) with eight experienced volunteers serving seven families out of a church basement. Within just one year, the number of people served quadrupled. In the fall of 2004, The Children’s Room established a permanent center in an inviting Victorian home in Arlington, Massachusetts which was renovated in 2013 to expand space for our programs.

Co-founder of The Children’s Room, Phyllis Silverman, was the co-principal investigator and project director of the Harvard Medical School/MGH Child Bereavement Study, which looked at children grieving the death of a parent within their social and family systems. Phyllis Silverman’s work contributed significantly to the underpinning philosophy of The Children’s Room bereavement model in understanding and assisting grieving children, teens, and adults by developing the concept of “continuing bonds.” She along with co-founders Jean Marchant and Judy Oliver remained close advisors to the organization.

The Children’s Room now serves almost 900 people annually through a variety of programming with revenues increasing from $30,000 in 1993 to $1.2 million in 2020, making it the leading independent nonprofit child bereavement center in Massachusetts, meeting critical needs in communities throughout eastern Massachusetts.

“Bereavement is not a simple reaction to a single event. It is also a social event, an economic event, a spiritual event, and an event with a history and a future. I asked myself who is lost when someone dies. It is more than simply a life that is lost. We also lose a relationship, the self we were in that relationship and a way of life in which the deceased play a role. These are the qualities of life, aspects of what we experience; these are not symptoms of an illness.”

Phyllis Silverman, Co-founder, 1927 - 2016

 

How can we help?

The Children’s Room is here when you are ready to learn more about our free-to-all grief support services for children and their families.