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Training & Education

If you and/or your colleagues are interested in learning more about the impact of death on children and families and how you and your organization can support grieving children and teens, the Highmark Caring Place can customize a presentation or training to fit your needs.

If you have a specific issue about which you would like some guidance, the Caring Place staff is available for consultation services.

If you're a school professional, see our information regarding peer support groups for students, the Caring Team for Grieving Children and helping students after a death.

While grief is a universal response to a death, specific reactions to the death of a loved one can vary widely. Significant differences can be found, especially, between the grief of a child and an adult. Understanding those differences and how best to offer support to someone who is mourning can be invaluable in our professional as well as our personal lives.

"We have received several positive comments from the group. Some of the comments are in reference to the insight that staff feel they gained for working with the families on their caseloads through the experience at your center. Others have commented on the benefits to their own personal losses. We are so appreciative of everything that you and your colleagues did to welcome our group and to make them feel so 'special' for the day. As you know the work that they do is challenging and very taxing both mentally and physically. You provided a day of 'respite' for them as well as an opportunity to grow and learn."

— Janey Matta-Rodriguez, Supervisor Allegheny Intermediate Unit/Head Start

The Highmark Caring Place has been providing programs to grieving children, adolescents and families since 1996. Our highly trained staff, all with master's degrees or doctorates, have a wealth of experience with children, families and family systems, bereavement, child development and group development and facilitation. In addition, we have encountered grief and have heard many stories from participants in our program who have taught us as much, or more than, any formal training about the immediate and long-term impact of losing a loved one.

We have had the opportunity to bring the understanding we have gained to thousands of professionals in the educational, medical, psychology, social work, counseling, social services, business, ministry and geriatrics fields among others.

Based on the evaluative responses we receive, participants highly value the knowledge they gain and feel they walk away with new skills that are immediately applicable to their everyday interactions, inside and outside of work.

The Caring Place staff is happy to work with you and your team to develop a training that is tailored to your needs. Our program format is interactive and the length can vary from a one-hour presentation to a half-day or full-day workshop provided to a few participants or several hundred and anywhere in between.

We are happy to host your group at a Caring Place facility or we can come to you — whichever works best for you or your team.

Regardless of length, space, topic or number of participants, all of our trainings are offered at no cost.

Recent Training Examples

  • How the Highmark Caring Place can be a resource for your organization
  • Preschoolers and grief
  • Teens and grief
  • Grief from a developmental perspective
  • The impact of grief on children and their families
  • The grief spiral
  • The grieving child in the classroom
  • Creating a grief sensitive culture in your school
  • Telling the children when someone they love has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness
  • Caring for yourself as you care for others