To provide support in a
safe place where grieving children, teens, families and adults can
share their experiences as they move through their grief process.
Grief is a natural reaction to
the loss of a loved one.
Within each individual is the
capacity to heal.
The duration and intensity of
grief is unique for each individual.
Caring and acceptance assist in
the healing process.
VNA has provided compassionate care in the community for 40 years.
Through our hospice program we are able to journey with families
until their loved one passes away. Some of the
children have asked “what about me, what happens to me?”
answer to that question, and in response to the need demonstrated
through the Community Needs Assessment Survey conducted in
cooperation with Valparaiso University, the VNA has established
the needs assessment, we learned that there really aren’t any
for children in our community – but
the need is
great. Those who
responded to the survey
identified over 800 children with whom they had contact who might
have benefitted from grief support. According to census reports, 1
in 20 children – that breaks down to 2,100 children in Porter County
alone - may experience the loss of a parent by age 15. And 1 in 5
will lose a close friend or family member.
VNA Phoenix Center offers volunteer facilitated,
age appropriate peer support groups and activities for children.
begin in the “Talking Room” with an opening circle and activity. The
children decide as a group at that time if they would like to move
to the art room, play area with dress up clothing and a puppet
theatre, Healing Garden or Volcano Room. The teens also have the
option of moving to the teen room to talk or the Big Energy Room to
play WII or foosball.
regardless of age must be accompanied by an adult. The adults will
be offered a support group separate from the children to assist them
in their grief and/or assist them to communicate with or understand
what a child might be saying at home. If the adult chooses not to
participate in group they may wait in the reception area or kitchen,
but may not leave the building.
The Center does
not provide therapy or individual counseling.
There is no
mandatory time frame for attendance. Children may come to the Center
for as long as they like. Some may only need to come a few times to
help them realize they are not alone and not so different. Others
may need a year or two. Some may leave and come back as they grow
and change and have new feelings to deal with.
program is offered free of charge to the community.
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offered free of charge, we rely on the support of individuals,
businesses, organizations and foundations, as well as support from
families who have benefitted from the program to help us continue to
provide this much needed service. In addition, ongoing donations of
much needed supplies are always welcome.
(Click here for our printable Wish List)
For more information on how you might support the VNA Phoenix Center, please contact the Development Office at (219)
531-8078 or by email at
To learn more about the
program, contact the children's bereavement program supervisor,
Michele Murphy-Wise at (219) 531-8042. You may also email to
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The mission of the Visiting Nurse
Association is to provide
compassionate home and hospice care in an innovative and
personalized manner to those in need, within the resources
available, enabling them to preserve their dignity and maintain
their highest level of independence.