St. John’s University’s Child HELP Partnership has announced receiving a two-year, $500,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to increase the quality of childhood bereavement services and serve a greater number of bereaved children in New York City.
A 2011 assessment by the foundation revealed a lack of childhood bereavement services as well as a stigma associated with death and grief counseling.
Based on those findings, the grant announced on Dec. 6 will support outreach and increased programming as well as training and evaluation to be provided by St. John’s, The Family Center in Brooklyn, the Center for Court Innovation, Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program in the Bronx, A Caring Hand and the Billy Esposito Foundation in Manhattan.
“This is an innovative, groundbreaking initiative that will help field tremendously,” Elissa Brown, founder and executive director of the partnership and research director of the grant, said in announcing it. “It is our hope that this project will help build the sector and, more importantly, improve programs for grieving children and their families.”
The Child HELP Partnership was founded in 2001 with the mission of protecting children from interpersonal violence and its emotional impact.
The program uses practices in mental health and education and is dedicated to healing children after trauma by providing evidence-based therapies free of charge.
“The grant provides a unique opportunity to better understand when and what services are most helpful for grieving children to improve their long-term outcome,” Dr. Robin Goodman, clinical director of the grant, said in a prepared statement. “With 10 children bereaved by the death of a parent or sibling every day in New York City, there is a tremendous need to increase awareness of both the value and availability of services.”