Children and Teens

Group of diversity looking kids, boys and girls sitting on the floor, in white background

Children and Teens programs are for children and teens who have a loved one diagnosed with cancer, or who have lost a loved one to cancer. 

Children’s Bereavement Packages

Description:  To comfort grieving children, we have bereavement packages available.  These packages include a stuffed grief bear and resources.  These kits are available upon request.

To receive a Children’s Bereavement package please call 905-579-4833 or email Avery@hearthplace.org

Healing Kids’ Hearts

Description:   A six week support group for children who have recently lost a loved one to cancer. This group explores grief through crafts and games, the creation memory keepsakes, and the development of coping strategies. For children ages 4-12.

The next session of Healing Kids’ Hearts will begin Wednesday, April 24 from 6:30-7:30pm in person at Hearth Place. This group is for children between the ages of 6 and 9 who have lost a grandparent to cancer.

Register:  Please call 905-579-4833 or email Avery@hearthplace.org to register for this program.

Facilitators:  Avery Maxwell and Kristyn Zaffino

Individual Child Support

Description: Individual support can be arranged for children who need some extra short term support coping with the diagnosis of or the loss of a family member to cancer.  Play based learning is a therapeutic process that provides opportunities for children to explore, identify and express emotions in a psychologically safe, secure and trusting environment.  Play based learning is suitable for children ages 4 to 12.

Individual sessions are arranged with our Child Life Specialist or Family Support Coordinator based on individual need. Please contact Avery for more information about this service.

Register: Please call 905-579-4833 or email Avery@hearthplace.org

Facilitator:   Avery Maxwell (Family Support Coordinator/Social Worker)                                                                                                                                               Kristyn Zaffino (Child Life Specialist)

Individual Teen Support

Description:  Individual support can be arranged for teens dealing with the diagnosis or the loss of a loved one with cancer.

Individual sessions are arranged with our Child Life Specialist or Family Support Coordinator based on individual need. Please contact Avery for more information about this service.

Register: Please call 905-579-4833 or email Avery@hearthplace.org

Facilitator:   Avery Maxwell (Family Support Coordinator/Social Worker)                                                                                                                                               Kristyn Zaffino (Child Life Specialist)

Kids Care Packages

Description: Hearth Place has developed a tool called the Kid’s Care Package for children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.  Each package is a gift bag that includes an activity book for parents to work with their children and a parent’s guide filled with information about the age appropriate needs of the children, answers to common questions and a list of resources available in print, in video and on the internet.

To receive a Kids Care package for a child please call 905-579-4833 or email Avery@hearthplace.org.

Kids’ Connection

Description:  A six week support group for children who are coping with the diagnosis of a loved one with cancer.  Activities focusing on coping strategies and exploration of feelings are covered during this six week group.  For children ages 4-12.

This program is offered 1-2 times per year, depending on demand. Please contact Avery for information regarding the next offering of Kids’ Connection.

Register:  Please call 905-579-4833 or email Avery@hearthplace.org to register for this program.

Facilitators:  Avery Maxwell and Kristyn Zaffino

Puppet Program

Description:  Hearth Place Puppeteers offer free performances in Durham Region schools and community organizations.  Our four charming life size puppets deliver an important message incorporating the virtues of Courage, Compassion, Respect, Kindness and Helpfulness by discussing the challenges faced by puppets Sophie and Matthew who are both coping with a cancer diagnosis and the side-effects of their treatment. Two different plays are available:

“Good Friends” for Grades JK-3

“The CCR Club” for grades 4-6

Resource material and follow-up worksheets are provided.

Register: To inquire about having the Puppeteer Team visit your school or organization please call or email Sonja at 905-579-4833, Sonja@hearthplace.org.

Teen Link

Description: Join other teens who have lost a parent to cancer in a support-style group. This group explores grief through crafting, activities, and community outings, with a focus on providing a space for social connection. For teens ages 13-17.

Schedule: This group meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Please contact Avery for more information about dates, time, and location.

Register: Please call 905-579-4833 or email Avery@hearthplace.org to register for this program.

Facilitators: Avery Maxwell and Kristyn Zaffino