This fall, a free support and education program is starting for children ages 4 to 16 who have a parent or grandparent with cancer. Offered free to children across the South Shore, it meets Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 11 am at the Cancer Support Community – MA South Shore at 120 Longwater Drive in Norwell. Led by a licensed clinician, the Kid Support program combines art and group discussion to enable children to express feelings and connect with other kids from similar situations in a safe and comfortable environment. Children are screened into the program and are part of an age appropriate group. A concurrent parent group meets every other week during the program.
As Linda Maerov, a licensed social worker and facilitator of the Kid Support Program says, parents sometimes aren’t equipped to answer their children’s questions about cancer, living with cancer, and the possibility of dying from cancer. Fear is another reason why some parents may hold back, while others are perhaps over protective and want to shield their children from the realities of the disease. But kids pick up on things, cautions Maerov, and may already be dealing with issues.
“This is a program for the whole family,” says Maerov, “offering a place to cope, process, and get support. We utilize creative ways to enable them to express and share their feelings and we let the kids know that it’s okay to be angry; it’s okay to think this is not fair. Kids need more help in coping and this program provides a bridge for kids to connect with other kids and parents to connect with other parents.”
For more information on the program, please email Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781.610.1490.
About Cancer Support Community MA-South Shore: One of 50 affiliates of the National Cancer Support Community, CSC-MSS provides educational and support programs and groups at no cost to people who are impacted by cancer so that “no one has to face cancer alone”. The non-profit organization is located at 120 Longwater Drive, Suite 104 in Norwell and is a division of the NVNA Foundation. Please visit www.cancersupportcommunityma.org.