In June, six staff members from The Children’s Room and our Board President attended the 2017 National Alliance For Grieving Children Symposium in Richmond, Virginia. Held annually, this conference brings together professionals from across the United States and Canada who work in the field of grief support. At this year’s symposium, The Children’s Room presented or co-presented four workshops, allowing the staff to share and model best practices with our peers. TCR staff has been a regular contributor at this gathering, the largest of its kind in the country.
Education Director Deborah Rivlin and Clinical Director Nancy Frumer Styron presented on Parenting While Grieving, TCR’s educational and support series for parents or caregivers who are raising children who had a parent die. During their lecture and discussion session at the symposium, Deborah and Nancy shared TCR’s unique eight-week model for helping parents and caregivers develop strategies and support for dealing with the challenges of parenting bereaved children while navigating their own grief.
Associate Program Director – Youth & Community Outreach, Colleen Shannon, co-presented an interactive workshop entitled “Supporting Children and Families Impacted by Murder.” This workshop was co-facilitated with our partners from the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute: Alexandra Chery, Rachel Rodrigues, and Shahi Smart, Sr. Together the four presenters provided participants with tools and resources for supporting children and families impacted by a homicide death.
As the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute shared, “We led participants through an experiential activity where they traveled the healing journey of a family whose oldest child was murdered at age 20 and left behind his mom, dad, a 3 year old sister and 10 year old brother. Participants tried imagining themselves as the parents or siblings and brainstormed providers’ roles and needed resources for each phase of the journey.”
Associate Program Director Laurie Moskowitz-Corrois led a presentation on The Value of Therapeutic Space Planning. Laurie spoke about the relationship we each have to our environment and how we understand our inherent “felt sense” of place. She helped participants explore the importance of intentionally creating space in a professional setting and caring for that space and all it holds. The session helped participants identify ways to strengthen their own current environments and enhance their therapeutic value.
Board President Michael Nagle and Former TCR Development Director Nancy Simpson-Banker co-presented a session called, “The Best Board Wins.” They shared best practices for how to attract, recruit, and retain strong board members and how to engage those board members as critical fundraising partners who can build and sustain a thriving nonprofit organization.
TCR staff received overwhelmingly positive feedback from their peers about each of their presentations. This and other conference experiences affirmed that The Children’s Room is a leader in its field.