GRIEF SUPPORT GROUPS
Tomorrow's Rainbow provides free grief support groups to children ages 3 years old through high school and their families after the death of a significant person. Following orientation, services are on-going on our miniature horse farm in Coconut Creek. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions below.
Most bereaved children, teens and adults do not need therapy after a death. Grief support groups allow participants to share in an emotionally safe, fun setting while removing social isolation. Services follow two best practice models - The Dougy Center Model of peer facilitated grief support combined with therapeutic art/play, and the Eagala Model of Equine Assisted Learning. Check out our resources & tip sheets.
In Florida, 1 in 14 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time that they reach 18 years of age. Without support, these children are at great risk of negative physical and emotional behaviors. In addition, grieving children are being raised by grieving adults who also benefit from support. Participating in a group setting provides a special camaraderie by being with people who "get it." Tomorrow's Rainbow supports your entire family in their grief.
For information on referring a child, teen or family, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of services do you offer?
Tomorrow's Rainbow provides peer support groups for children ages 3 years old through high school and their families. Most of the time people do not need therapy after a death of a significant person. Our support groups are led by highly qualified volunteers who have extensive training in supporting bereaved youth. Our groups meet twice monthly to allow for a child's natural need to process over time in a non-threatening manner.
How do I get started?
The first step is for the child's legal guardian to download and complete our registration application - one for each child/teen in the home. Completed packets can be emailed to Matt@TomorrowsRainbow.org or faxed to (754) 732-0994. We will contact the caregiver once we receive the packet to review and answer any questions. Next, a client orientation will be scheduled. At orientation, the family will be assigned to a group which meets twice monthly.
When is group?
Groups are divided by age as well as similarity in cause of death. Our "Littles" groups (ages 3 to 6 - thru kindergarten) and "Bigs" groups (ages 6 to 12 - grades 1 thru 5) meet on Saturday morning at 9:00 A.M. or Saturday afternoon at 4:30 P.M. Littles and Bigs groups are 90 minutes in duration. An adult support group occurs simultaneously during during all Littles and Bigs groups. The adult group is highly recommended, but not mandatory. An adult must remain on the premises during all Littles and Bigs groups.
The middle school and high school groups meet on a Monday evening and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Covenant House groups meet on a Wednesday evening. All teen and young adult groups meet from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. Pizza is served at the beginning of these groups.
What happens in group?
All groups include an introduction and opening activity circle followed by miniature horse interactions and therapeutic art/play. Each group ends with a candle lighting ceremony. Grief support at Tomorrow's Rainbow is fun, engaging and emotionally safe. Sessions are age appropriate and provide best practice, trauma informed services.
G-Connect, made possible through the generosity of Citrix, is a support group that empowers the family unit by sharing in grief related activities. G-Connect supports families who:
Are on our wait list so that they can immediately participate in support services.
Have schedules that prevent them from participating in our on-going support groups
Need additional support
Had to miss group and want a "make up" session.
Feel that they are ready for a "drop-in" level of support.
Would like some extra support.
All groups are facilitated by trained volunteers who are overseen by the professional staff at Tomorrow's Rainbow.
What do I need to bring to group?
Tomorrow's Rainbow is located on a miniature horse ranch. Due to the outdoor nature of the facility, participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes like sneakers or boots. Soft or flexible shoes like Crocs, ballet flats or backless sneakers will not be acceptable. We suggest wearing clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.
How much does it cost?
We do not charge a fee for the groups. We know that death can be financially draining, especially for young families. We invite families to make a tax-deductible monthly pledge that they can afford. The pledge is entirely voluntary. Other ways families choose to give back are through shopping or donating to Tomorrow's Rainbow Thrift & Gift, supporting events, matching grants through their workplace and so much more. No family will be turned away due to lack of contribution.
Is there a long waiting list?
From time to time, there is a wait list, but you will be able to begin services immediately following orientation through G-Connect groups.
What happens at the one-hour orientation?
Client orientation is offered once monthly on a Saturday. Families attend to learn about the program, receive a tour of the facility and get comfortable with the program before returning for their scheduled group. The children and teens will be able to spend time playing and meeting our 4 legged staff.
Is there any riding?
There is no riding at Tomorrow's Rainbow. All of the magic happens on the ground. We rely on the horse's natural ability to reflect our intention, provide consistency and routine, and be a conduit to allow children to project their thoughts, feelings and beliefs on the horse. Tomorrow's Rainbow understands that a successful relationship with a horse mirrors a successful relationship with people - mutual respect, trust and understanding.
How long after the death should my child wait to start?
Families are encouraged to call and begin the process for participation as soon as they feel ready. We recognize that each person and family grieves differently, and the family is the best judge of when they are ready to seek out support. Some families start right after the death while others wait a few years before calling.
How long is a family expected to attend groups?
Each family is unique in their need for support. Because grief is a life long journey, we know that children and teens may close from services and then need us at their next developmental milestone. Families are always welcome back (no orientation is necessary for a returning family).
What happens if my family misses a group?
Groups meet twice a month year-round. A text message and email reminder will be sent to you prior to group. Families are asked to notify us if they need to be absent. If you miss group, you can always make it up at G-Connect.
What if I have a question about how to support my child/teen?
We're only a phone call away! Tomorrow's Rainbow will be there to answer your questions about how to support your grieving child or teen. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly with your concerns and needs at 954.978.2390.