The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has launched a program to support Philly kids experiencing grief and trauma. The initiative is a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships and the Uplift Center for Grieving Children and is focused on providing resources for kids in West and Southwest Philly.
“Children in West and Southwest Philadelphia experience traumatic events far too frequently” said Alonzo South, senior director of community engagement at CHOP. “We know chronic exposure to violence and other trauma can lead to learning challenges and physical and behavioral health issues. “
South explained that kids need to be provided with tools in order to help them cope with traumatic events. “It is critical that we help these children build resilience and buffer them against the traumatic exposure to community violence, as well as grief and loss from the pandemic.”
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As reported by phillymag.com, the program will include virtual peer support groups for kids and programming during and after school hours through two of the Netter Center’s University-Assisted Community Schools .(UACS) It also includes monthly family empowerment workshops that focused on understanding grief, building resilience, and social-emotional health.
Both the support groups and workshops are led by Uplift’s masters-level grief clinicians and are designed for children “grieving significant deaths or navigating other ambiguous losses, such as isolation from school and community during the pandemic or incarceration of a loved one,” according to CHOP.
Adults training included
The collaboration will provide as well, trainings for the adults working directly with the kids their parents, guardians, and teachers to provide them to support the kids as they process their grief and trauma.
The collaboration is part of CHOP’s Healthier Together Initiative, which addresses four social determinants of health, housing, trauma, hunger, and poverty, to improve the health and lives of patients and families. It also complements the existing program between CHOP and Uplift called Growing Resilience in Teens (GRIT) established in February 2020.