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Children's Room - Center For Grieving Children & Teenagers, Inc.

 1210 Massachusetts Avenue
 Arlington, MA 02476
[P] (781) 641-4741 x 227
[F] (781) 641-0012
www.childrensroom.org
[email protected]
Kim Cayer
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INCORPORATED: 1996
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3316013

LAST UPDATED: 10/24/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The Children’s Room creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen or family has to grieve alone.
 
The Children’s Room was founded on the belief that every child, teen and family grieving a death deserves a safe, supportive and understanding environment. 

We seek
to broaden our impact by expanding our support services and educational outreach and deepening our community collaborations. 
 
We aspire to be a leader in the field of grief support and a catalyst in transforming society’s understanding of grief.

We envision a world where understanding and patience allow loss to be integrated into our lives and lead to greater compassion, hope and growth.

The Children’s Room culture and all its services reflect the following fundamental beliefs.

  • Grief is a natural and healthy response to death.
  • Everyone experiences grief in a unique way.
  • The experience of grief does not end, but changes over time.
  • Within each of us there is a natural capacity to adapt to a world changed by death.
  • Being with others who have experienced a death reduces isolation and can provide hope.
  • Grief is transformative and can lead to personal growth not previously imagined.

Mission Statement

The Children’s Room creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen or family has to grieve alone.
 
The Children’s Room was founded on the belief that every child, teen and family grieving a death deserves a safe, supportive and understanding environment. 

We seek
to broaden our impact by expanding our support services and educational outreach and deepening our community collaborations. 
 
We aspire to be a leader in the field of grief support and a catalyst in transforming society’s understanding of grief.

We envision a world where understanding and patience allow loss to be integrated into our lives and lead to greater compassion, hope and growth.

The Children’s Room culture and all its services reflect the following fundamental beliefs.

  • Grief is a natural and healthy response to death.
  • Everyone experiences grief in a unique way.
  • The experience of grief does not end, but changes over time.
  • Within each of us there is a natural capacity to adapt to a world changed by death.
  • Being with others who have experienced a death reduces isolation and can provide hope.
  • Grief is transformative and can lead to personal growth not previously imagined.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2016 to Sept 30, 2017
Projected Income $967,000.00
Projected Expense $979,800.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1) GRIEF SUPPORT SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, TEENS AND FAMILIES
  • 2) COMMUNITY OUTREACH & COLLABORATION
  • 3) EDUCATION & TRAINING OF PROFESSIONALS

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Children’s Room creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen or family has to grieve alone.
 
The Children’s Room was founded on the belief that every child, teen and family grieving a death deserves a safe, supportive and understanding environment. 

We seek
to broaden our impact by expanding our support services and educational outreach and deepening our community collaborations. 
 
We aspire to be a leader in the field of grief support and a catalyst in transforming society’s understanding of grief.

We envision a world where understanding and patience allow loss to be integrated into our lives and lead to greater compassion, hope and growth.

The Children’s Room culture and all its services reflect the following fundamental beliefs.

  • Grief is a natural and healthy response to death.
  • Everyone experiences grief in a unique way.
  • The experience of grief does not end, but changes over time.
  • Within each of us there is a natural capacity to adapt to a world changed by death.
  • Being with others who have experienced a death reduces isolation and can provide hope.
  • Grief is transformative and can lead to personal growth not previously imagined.

Background Statement

The Children’s Room (TCR) was founded by an impassioned group of caregivers who, in 1993, received training from the renowned Oregon-based Dougy Center for Grieving Children. Calling themselves “The Children’s Room,” because they occupied a just single room for their work, they provided services for families dealing with catastrophic loss as a program of Hospice West in Waltham, Massachusetts. By 1995, they embarked on the work of making The Children’s Room an independent, incorporated 501(c)(3).

In April 1999, The Children’s Room opened with eight experienced volunteers serving seven families out of a church basement. The participant base quadrupled in just over a year. In the fall of 2004, TCR established a permanent center in a large Victorian home in Arlington, which we renovated in the summer of 2013 to expand space for our programs and services.

Today, TCR is the leading independent, nonprofit bereavement center in the state of Massachusetts, filling a critical need in eastern Massachusetts communities.


Impact Statement

Thanks to over 2,000 donors and over one hundred volunteers, The Children’s Room has made an extraordinary impact on the communities we serve. As the leading nonprofit bereavement center in Massachusetts, families from over 80 communities have turned to us for caring support. In the past year, we: 

  • Provided free peer support groups at our Arlington Center for over 98 families, including 162 grieving children and teens and 113 adults. We utilized professional staff and 60 volunteers who donated approximately 6,000 hours. 

  • Supported 82 children and teens and 20 adults in school and community-based groups at Lexington High School; Needham High School; Ottoson Middle School (Arlington); Prospect Hill School (Somerville); and in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (Chelsea and Charlestown) and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. By offering peer support groups in a number of diverse communities, we are able to serve teens and children in their own environment.

  • Served 152 individuals through our unique expressive arts-based Family Night program

  • Provided grief education and support for 23 adults through our interactive educational series, Parenting While Grieving.

  • Served 57 grieving teens last year through our Teen Program. In the 2015-2016 school year, we offered social outings and arts-based workshops on a monthly basis. Each event is organized with a therapeutic theme. 

  • Provided practical information and strategies for supporting grieving families at a wide variety of Boston-area organizations, including the Lawrence School District; Hospice of the Good Shepherd; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Violeta Montessori School; and the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Retreat.

  • Provided intensive professional training and supervision to graduate and undergraduate interns through our Internship Program.

  • Provided nearly 150 hours of free information and referral support via telephone to nearly 350 individuals seeking grief related resources.

 


Needs Statement

Our most pressing needs:

  • Expand peer support groups. The need for our peer support services to alleviate feelings of isolation continues to significantly exceed our capacity to provide them. More peer groups are needed in schools and other community settings.
  • Increase outreach and education. Not all children and families who need our services have access to our center. We need to increase outreach and education to provide help in their communities so that we can be a catalyst to transform society’s understanding of grief and to be a leader in the field of grief support.
  • Improved cash reserves. TCR has loyal multi-year donors and dramatically increased its revenues recently with more than 2,000 donors, but on-going operations continue to be under-funded and we need to build a more significant cash reserve.
  • Additional staff. We need to add program staff capacity in order to provide additional services to families in need. We are especially interested in extending our model to underserved communities.

CEO Statement

With recent research indicating that 1 out of 20 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they reach age 18, it is clear that childhood grief is very common. Yet understanding of and support for grieving children and families is quite limited. Grieving children and teens often feel alone and misunderstood because those around them are uncomfortable with death. Through peer support services, education and community outreach, The Children’s Room strives to reduce the isolation that grieving children and families experience. Our family and school-based support groups provide opportunities for those who have experienced a similar loss to come together and share with one another. Our consultations, education and community outreach programs help parents, community members and professionals understand and better respond to the needs of grieving children and families. 
 
We rely heavily on volunteers who facilitate our family based peer support groups. This is not only cost effective but it’s also consistent with our guiding principles. We see grief as a life cycle event that requires support rather than medical intervention. An added benefit that follows from this practice is the positive community and ongoing support that volunteers receive while supporting others. Volunteers report that they “get more than they give” and they are often seen as “grief experts” in their own family and community.

TCR was founded in response to the needs of a young widow seeking support for her family and the families we have served through the years continue to be an integral part of the organization. Teens, young adults and adults who were former participants in our programs are now serving in volunteer capacities as support group facilitators, board and committee members. We have an active and growing alumni group that supports programming and fundraising activities.
 
The Children’s Room is an independent nonprofit but, as a member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, we have access to the knowledge and experience of our colleagues doing similar work across the country. TCR program staff members collectively have more than 75 years of experience supporting thousands of grieving children and families.

Board Chair Statement

I became involved with The Children’s Room in 2006, when their peer support groups served my family after the death of my daughter, Sophia. I know first-hand that The Children’s Room delivers caring, compassionate, and effective support to families who have lost an important person in their lives.

The Children’s Room provided a safe place for our surviving daughter, Isabelle, to grieve and helped my wife, Melyné, and I parent while grieving. All three of us are motivated to support The Children’s Room so other children, teens, and families get the same opportunity to adapt in healthy ways after the death of a parent or sibling.

In October 2014, I joined the Board of Directors, because I knew we wanted to give back. I realized that my experience as an Organization Development Consultant and Executive Coach could help strengthen and grow The Children’s Room, so I made the board commitment until 2020.

The board and staff’s joint process to create our first official strategic plan was completed in 2015 and is currently being implemented. This plan guides our work as we expand and enhance our programs and services at our center in Arlington and in surrounding communities.

As board president, the chance to support the implementation of the strategic plan motivates me. I foresee this work having a profound impact on children and teens. I am confident we will, as planned, increase the number of Boston communities where The Children’s Room engages schools and organizations like The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston to provide direct grief support services closer to home. This is very important work because we know when grief is not dealt with kids are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and are at greater risk for depression or suicide.

While working together to accomplish our goals, I am deeply impressed by the staff and the board. The Children’s Room has built a talented staff of eleven and a board comprised of twelve highly dedicated members. Each of them are steadfast in their commitment to doing what is right for the organization.

Beyond what TCR has done for my family, I am fulfilled by this work. It creates tremendous hope in me that one day, because of the pioneering work we are doing at The Children’s Room, maybe our great-great-grandchildren will live in a world where grief is understood, talked about openly in families, and kids are encouraged to share their feelings with others. This inspires me. I hope it inspires others, too.


Geographic Area Served

STATEWIDE
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA

TCR has served families from over 80 communities in eastern Massachusetts, most from within a 25-mile radius of Arlington. We educate professionals state-wide.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Family Services
  2. Education - Educational Services
  3. Mental Health & Crisis Intervention -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

1) GRIEF SUPPORT SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, TEENS AND FAMILIES

Direct grief support services are offered at TCR in numerous ways.

Family Peer Support Groups: serving children and families in age-appropriate groups

Monthly Family Nights (new in 2014): serving children and families together

Parenting Education Series: serving bereaved adults who are parents and/or caregivers

Teen Program (new in 2015): serving teens (ages 13-18). (Note: This program is in addition to our peer support groups for teens.)

Individual Consultation: serving bereaved adults or adults anticipating bereavement

Information and referral: serving professionals and families

Intake and orientation for families joining our peer support groups or Teen Program

Budget  $433,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Families
Program Short-Term Success 
  • Increased coping skills
  • More hopeful about the future
  • Decreased sadness
  • Better communication among family member
  • Decreased sense of isolation
  • Increased self-esteem
Program Long-Term Success 
Children, teens and adults will integrate the death experience into their lives in a way that results in increased competence and positive personal growth. Those who receive support will develop a heightened sense of compassion for others. Children who experience early loss will develop healthy self-esteem and positive relational skills. Levels of depression, anxiety, violent behavior and academic problems for children who have experienced an early death loss will be similar to peers without such an experience.
Program Success Monitored By 
  • Annual self-assessment completed by adults and children
  • Web-based evaluation completed by adults when family ends support group
  • Qualitative interviews with adults, teens and children

 

Examples of Program Success 

 

In data collected in web-based surveys, the children, teens, and families we serve have reported:

  • Increased coping skills
  • More hopeful about the future 
  • Decreased sadness
  • Better communication among family members 
  • Decreased sense of isolation 
  • Increased self-esteem 

Comments from those we have served:

“I feel less alone and more understood.”
“We are both more compassionate and aware of the sadness others experience.”
“I desperately needed a safe place to talk about my feelings and be heard. The Children’s Room was everything I could have asked for and more.”
“The Children’s Room has really helped me grow from my experiences, grow from my grief, and be able to talk to people about what I’ve gone through.”
“I love talking to people who know EXACTLY what I’m going through. I relate to the kids in my group and I feel okay to share about my loss, which I don’t always feel with my friends.”




2) COMMUNITY OUTREACH & COLLABORATION

Beyond our center in Arlington, our clinical program staff works with schools, after school programs, and community agencies to develop and facilitate peer support groups for children and adolescents 6 to 18 years old who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. All school and community-based groups are co-facilitated by a clinical staff member from TCR and one of the mental health professionals from the school or community agency. These peer support groups allow children and adolescents access to quality, trauma-informed grief support where they live and go to school. Another major component of our work in the community is our Internship Program. We offer a rigorous 10-month academic internship in the field of bereavement for graduate and undergraduates. These students are selected through a competitive application process. With the help of our interns, we have been able to expand and enhance our services in schools and other community-based locations throughout Greater Boston. Our Internship Program has also allowed us to help impact the field of bereavement by training the next generation of professionals studying social work, psychology, counseling, expressive arts, and child life. Moreover, we often facilitate grief awareness and outreach opportunities in the community. In program year 2015-16, we proudly participated in honoring Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which is held on the third Thursday of every November. In 2016, we hosted Children’s Grief Awareness Day outreach and awareness events at four local schools and two Boys & Girls Clubs locations. On request, we facilitate specialized grief education opportunities, such as a recent parent’s night at a local preschool, during which our education director provided insight and concrete advice for supporting a grieving child after a parent in their community died. In 2016, two TCR staff members helped coordinate with staff at the Chelsea Boys & Girls Club in order to provide direct grief support to Club staff members. As thought leaders in the field of bereavement, our community outreach and involvement includes professional networking with our peers. In program year 2015-16, we shared insights and best practices with our peers at the Massachusetts Bereavement Network.

Budget  $130,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

 

  • Decreased sense of isolation
  • Normalization of the grieving process
  • Development and strengthening of self-regulation skills
  • Expanded and enhanced coping skills
  • Promotion of peer connections

 

Program Long-Term Success 

Children, teens, and adults who may not otherwise have access to quality, trauma-informed grief support are able to have access to such a service. The ability to receive grief support where they live and go to school will allow them to integrate the death experience into their lives in a way that results in increased competence and positive personal growth. Those who receive support will develop a heightened sense of compassion for others. Children who experience early loss will develop healthy self-esteem and positive relational skills. Levels of depression, anxiety, violent behavior, and academic problems for children who have experienced an early death loss will be similar to peers without such an experience.

Program Success Monitored By 

Qualitative written and verbal feedback in response to group, training, or workshop.

Examples of Program Success 

“When I first started this group, I felt really insecure about who I was and about my life, because I thought I was the only one this ever happened to. After being in group I feel stronger, because I now know other people who have been through this, too.”

“I feel like I’ve changed a lot because of this group. Getting to come back for 3 years in a row has been something that was really cool.”

“I really appreciate how understanding everyone has been in group. This isn’t easy stuff to talk about and I feel like I could really trust others.”

“The Children’s Room has been a huge resource to us. Having TCR travel to us has been hugely beneficial in allowing us to help more children and teens receive services that they may not otherwise have access to.” (Social worker, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston)

“Our school has worked with TCR for over 6 years to provide school-based grief support groups. During this time, we have created a sub-community within our gigantic school where students who often felt misunderstood or invisible can connect with peers who understand them in a unique way.” (Social worker, high school group)


3) EDUCATION & TRAINING OF PROFESSIONALS

TCR’s professional staff regularly offers grief education services and trainings that are proactive as well as responsive to crisis situations in schools and communities. We offer presentations to schools, youth centers, and other community-based organizations to provide education on how to support children, teens, and adults around the issues of grief and loss. This serves to help people better understand grief and how they can support themselves and others while grieving. Educating others in our grief support model, and sharing practical strategies enables professionals to respond effectively to individual children and families in their own schools, practices, and communities when tragedy strikes. During the program year 2015-16, we provided practical information and strategies for supporting grieving families at a wide variety of Boston-area organizations, including the Lawrence School District; Hospice of the Good Shepherd; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Violeta Montessori School; and the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Retreat. In addition to presentations and trainings throughout the Greater Boston area, TCR program staff members, along with partners from the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, presented a live webinar, entitled “Providing Culturally Responsive Grief Support to Children and Adolescents,” hosted by the National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC). In June, TCR staff presented an interactive workshop at the 2016 NAGC Symposium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Held annually, this conference brings together professionals from across the United States and Canada who are working in the field of grief support.

Budget  $58,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

Schools in a community impacted by the death of a student were better prepared to communicate appropriately with students and parents.

School staff impacted by the sudden death of a young teacher were better prepared to communicate to students and parents and to support students and staff.

Parents and teachers were better prepared to communicate with young children about the illness and death of a parent in the school.

Teachers in a community afterschool program gained an understanding of the relationship between grief and behavioral issues in children in their program. Teachers felt better prepared to respond to children in a way that might better meet their needs.

Program Long-Term Success 

Teachers, administrators, social service providers and community members will be prepared to respond to children and families who have experienced death or other significant losses. The need for TCR family based peer support services will be reduced as children and families receive understanding and support within their existing communities.

Program Success Monitored By 

Qualitative written and verbal feedback in response to training or workshop.

Examples of Program Success 

Comments from those we have served:

“Please know that all of us feel that we benefitted tremendously from the very helpful and timely workshop that you offered us. Your clarify and the concreteness of your examples and response helped all of us to navigate a very tough situation.”

“I want to thank you again for a wonderful evening. It could be a very difficult topic to deal with, but you handle it so beautifully that people were reflective and very comfortable.”

“I really enjoyed your workshop on Thursday. It was informative and I know some of the ideas discussed will help me with the twins in my pre-k class.”


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

During the program year 2015-16, TCR provided direct grief support to over 600 individuals, including 377 children, teens, and adults who were served in ongoing, free support groups with the help of 60 volunteer facilitators and 7 interns. Some of these children witnessed the sudden death of a loved one; others lost a parent or a sibling to lengthy illness, accident, or suicide. Grieving children and families face an extraordinary array of challenges as they begin to build a new life dramatically altered by devastating loss. Without proper support, bereaved children are at higher risk for developing mental health, social, and academic problems.

The families we have reached are a tiny fraction of those who need our services. Recent research indicates that one in twenty young people will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they reach age 18, and one in seven will experience the death of a parent or sibling before age 20. People in our society have a hard time dealing with death. Often bereaved children feel the pain of isolation from their friends and community in addition to the loss of a loved one. That’s why we’ve made a commitment to education and training services. We know that teachers, neighbors and friends want to help. Often times they’re afraid that they don’t have the right words to say, so, rather than approach, they turn away. We want to change that. We want to see bereaved children and families embraced by a caring and supportive community. We know that we have much needed information and experience to share. We see the ripple effect of our educational work in our official educational offerings but also through the knowledge and comfort that our volunteers, and donors, share in their own communities.

We’re working hard to build our capacity to serve more grieving children and families in our support groups. But we aren’t anywhere near meeting the need that exists with 1 in 20 children impacted by early loss. By creating and deepening community collaborations, TCR is able to serve many more children and teens from diverse communities who may not otherwise have access to affordable grief support.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Nancy Frumer Styron
CEO Term Start July 2013
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Nancy Frumer Styron is currently The Children's Room's Clinical Director and Interim Executive Director. She is a licensed psychologist who joined TCR in July 2013. Nancy has a background in pediatric psychology and a specialty in oncology. She worked at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for over 20 years, seeing patients and their families as outpatients at the Dana-Farber and inpatient at Children’s Hospital who have been affected by diagnosis, treatment, loss and death. She also served as the Training Director for graduate students in the fields of social work and psychology. She currently teaches graduate students at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in the area of Health Psychology and has a private practice in Lexington, MA. Nancy has been a meditation practitioner for over twenty-five years and has a particular interest in teaching meditation to children and in mindful parenting. Nancy has interests in training in the areas of grief and loss and the importance of leadership in many forms. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA from Lesley University, a JD from Boston College Law School, and a PsyD from Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Donna Smith Sharff June 2010 June 2017
Ms. Barbara Clarke Sept 2006 July 2009

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --
Kim Cayer Philanthropy Director

Kim joined The Children’s Room in 2004 as a Program Volunteer. She served as the Development Associate at The Children’s Room from 2010 to 2016 where she oversaw major events, the annual fund, and grant writing. In August 2016 Kim was promoted to Philanthropy Director. Kim currently serves on the Board of Youth Services in Arlington and is a former board member of the Arlington-Belmont Crew Club, Robbins Farm Park and PTO Co-President of Arlington’s Brackett School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College.

Nancy Frumer Styron J.D., Psy.D Clinical Director

Nancy Frumer Styron, J.D., Psy.D is a licensed psychologist who joined TCR in July 2013. Nancy comes with a background in pediatric psychology and a specialty in oncology. She worked at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for over 20 years, seeing patients and their families as outpatients at the Dana-Farber and inpatient at Children’s Hospital who have been affected by diagnosis, treatment, loss and death. She also served as the Training Director for graduate students in the fields of social work and psychology. She currently teaches graduate students at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in the area of Health Psychology and has a private practice in Lexington, MA. Nancy has been a meditation practitioner for over twenty-five years and has a particular interest in teaching meditation to children and in mindful parenting. Nancy has interests in training in the areas of grief and loss and the importance of leadership in many forms. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, an MA from Lesley University, a JD from Boston College Law School, and a Psy.D from Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The incidence of childhood grief is much higher than is generally assumed. In fact, one out of twenty children will lose a parent or sibling before the age of 18, and one out of seven children will experience the death of a parent or sibling before age 20. With the need so great and our services more widely known, the requests for help and information from families and communities continue to grow each year. Childhood grief is often underestimated and misunderstood, leaving children and teens feeling alone when they are most vulnerable. Concerned about burdening their grieving parent(s) and sensing that others are uncomfortable talking about their loss and pain, children and teens often suffer in silence. They become the forgotten mourners. Children and teens need to have their feelings respected and validated as they struggle to make meaning around a death. The devastating loss of a parent or sibling can throw into question a child or teen’s sense of self, family, and world. How the surviving parent (or parents) handles the death and its aftermath substantially influences child adaptation.1

Without support, grieving children and teens are at risk for a host of negative outcomes, including mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, traumatic grief, and reduced academic success because of low motivation, difficulty concentrating and lower self-esteem. Our programs seek to prevent these outcomes by offering direct support to children, teens, and families and by educating and training others to better meet the needs of grieving families within their communities.

To better address these increasing needs, TCR’s Executive Director and Board of Directors is currently operationalizing its first ever strategic plan, which was completed in 2015. This strategic plan was developed and finalized by a special task force representing staff, the Executive Director, and Board members. It will guide our work through the end of fiscal year 2017 as we continue to enhance and expand our programs. Currently the Board is in process to create a committee to begin work on a new Strategic Plan that will carry our work through FY20.


 1Saldinger, A., Porterfield, K. and Cain, A.C. (2004). Meeting the Needs of Parentally Bereaved Children.Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 67(4), 331-352.

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 80
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 11
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Automobile Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
General Property Coverage and Professional Liability
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Michael Nagle MS
Board Chair Company Affiliation Michael Nagle Consulting Group
Board Chair Term Oct 2016 - Sept 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Steve Andrew MBA Retired Financial Professional Voting
Jenny Carlson-Pietraszek MA Noble & Greenough School Voting
Sue Costello LICSW Boston Children’s Hospital Training Access Project Voting
Jonathan DeVito AS DeVito Funeral Homes Voting
Nanci Gelb Independent Consultant Voting
Tim Gleason Harvard University Information Technology Voting
Katie Gorczyca Boston Post Adoption Resources and Danny’s Place Youth Services Voting
Stephanie Lubin-Levy PNP Framingham Pediatrics and Spaulding Rehab Hospital Voting
Mary Ellen Margosian M.Ed Community Volunteer Voting
Michael Nagle MS Michael Nagle Consulting Group Voting
Maureen Powers Human Resources Consultant Voting
Pearl Riney MD West Cambridge Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine Voting
Courtney Silva MBA Slalom Consulting Voting
Alan Simpson PhD, CFA Simpson Investment Counsel Voting
Paul Weichselbaum MBA SUMA Consulting Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Harry Allen -- --
Maryanne Andrew -- --
Victoria Arthur -- --
Geoff Birmingham -- --
Susan Boucher -- --
Robert Bowes -- --
Linda Braun -- --
Dotty Burstein -- --
Martin Conneely -- --
Michael Danziger -- --
Anne Favaloro -- --
Neil Fisher -- --
Margaret Fleming -- --
Rick Frank -- --
Linda Gelb -- --
Ann Gildea -- --
Michael Gilligan -- --
Tim Gleason -- --
Jamie Golden -- --
Richard Greene -- --
Polly Guggenheim -- --
Meredith Hoban Dunn -- --
Jack Hurd -- --
Rachel Jellinek -- --
Jeff Keffer -- --
Florence Koplow -- --
Carolyn Kraft -- --
Cheryl LaMee -- --
Maria Lewis Kussmaul -- --
Claire Lively -- --
Nancy Lubin-Levy -- --
Maureen Lyons -- --
Shannon Magee -- --
Gregg Malatesta -- --
Jean Marchant -- --
Denise McKeown -- --
Susan Mihailidis -- --
Julia Mirak Kew -- --
Judy Oliver -- --
Mark Redmond -- --
Franklin Ross -- --
Jan Saks -- --
Tricia Seery -- --
Nancy Simpson-Banker -- --
Alan Stern -- --
Claire Stern -- --
Judy Zabin -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Development / Board Orientation
  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

TCR has a dedicated and active Board of Directors whose members are passionate about our mission. The board consists of former program participants, program volunteers, social workers, and business and financial representatives. The members of TCR’s Board have established and approved mutual expectations and responsibilities in order to foster a cooperative and supportive atmosphere to further our mission and programs. Board members regularly attend board meetings and serve actively on at least one committee. Board members actively support the Executive Director in the implementation of the mission, goals, policies, and programs of TCR. The Board conducts an annual review of the Executive Director and a Board self-assessment.

Importantly, all Board Members participate in development and fundraising. They make annual donations to TCR in a manner that reflects the priority and significance of TCR in her or his charitable giving and according to her or his personal means. Each year when approving the annual budget the Board of Directors establishes a Board fundraising goal which reflects a material portion of the total revenues of TCR for that year. For fiscal year 2016, the Board approved a plan to “give or get” 15% of TCR's budget. Board members work with staff to make personal appeals for donations to TCR and play a leadership role in development events, programs, and activities. For fiscal year 2016 (which ended September 30, 2016), this "Give or Get" Board contribution totaled $349,925.

The Board has established a goal to build the Board to support our fundraising and organizational development. In October 2016, our outgoing Board President, Neil Fisher, stepped down, and Michael Nagle, of the Michael Nagle Consulting Group, assumed the role of Board President. The Board and staff experienced a very smooth leadership transition, as our Governance Committee had helped plan this succession for over a year. The Board has created a nominating task force that meets on a quarterly basis to review potential new board members. TCR also has made a concerted effort to build our Advisory Board as a potential pool of Board candidates.

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,330,407 $1,303,309 $1,199,985
Total Expenses $1,204,523 $1,133,393 $1,029,107

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$289,869 $240,946 $170,874
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $800,265 $823,299 $789,985
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $10,375 $-210 $1,495
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $229,898 $239,274 $237,631
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $827,381 $781,766 $685,219
Administration Expense $112,446 $120,940 $126,762
Fundraising Expense $264,696 $230,687 $217,126
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.10 1.15 1.17
Program Expense/Total Expenses 69% 69% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 24% 22% 23%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $2,190,986 $2,036,833 $1,881,565
Current Assets $806,977 $697,419 $585,212
Long-Term Liabilities $570,025 $582,699 $594,936
Current Liabilities $91,207 $50,264 $94,863
Total Net Assets $1,529,754 $1,403,870 $1,191,766

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $100,000.00
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 4.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 8.85 13.88 6.17

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 26% 29% 32%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The Children’s Room has made great strides over the last five years towards financial sustainability. In 2009 we implemented the Benevon Model of fundraising. The model fast tracks a traditional development program while providing a reliable source of annual funding. The Benevon Model is mission-driven fundraising that focuses on identifying individual donors who resonate with a nonprofit's mission. These loyal donors commit to multi-year pledges of support and become a reliable source of unrestricted annual funding. We currently have 107 “Circle of Hope” donors who have committed $1,000 or more for at least 5 years. Our fiscal year 2017 budget includes $239,000 in pledge payments expected from these donors, representing 24% of our budget. In the seven years since implementing the Benevon Model, our revenues have more than doubled. In Fiscal Year 2013 alone, our fundraising revenues increased by 40% over the previous year, and in fiscal year 2016, our annual revenue exceeded $1 million for the first time. We anticipate continued success with this model as we attract new loyal donors who are passionate about our mission.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials.


Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Our mission is to create safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen, or family has to grieve alone. We believe that every child, teen, and family grieving a death deserves a safe, supportive, and understanding environment.

Our vision is to help create a world where understanding and patience allow loss to be integrated into our lives and lead to greater compassion, hope, and growth. We seek to broaden our impact by expanding our support services and educational outreach and deepening our community collaborations. We aspire to be a leader in the field of grief support and a catalyst in transforming society's understanding of grief.
 
The Children's Room culture and all its services reflect the following fundamental beliefs: 
  • Grief is a natural and healthy response to death.
  • Everyone experiences grief in a unique way.
  • The experience of grief does not end, but changes over time.
  • Within each of us there is a natural capacity to adapt to a world changed by death.
  • Being with others who have experienced a death reduces isolation and can provide hope.
  • Grief is transformative and can lead to personal growth not previously imagined.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

DIRECT GRIEF SUPPORT

Services include:

 

  • Peer support groups (free of charge): Families come together bi-weekly for peer support groups at our Arlington center. Children and teens meet with others their age who have also lost a parent or sibling, and their parents or caregivers meet at the same time in adult support groups. TCR also offers peer support groups in area schools and community organizations (including Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston), enabling us to reach children who would not otherwise be able to access grief support services.
  • Parenting While Grieving Series (free of charge): This eight-week, interactive series is offered twice a year to bereaved parents/caregivers. Participants explore the impact of death and loss on children, their developmental understanding of the grief process, strategies for dealing with the challenges of parenting while grieving, and for some, parenting while navigating their own grief.
  • Monthly Family Night (free of charge): Our monthly arts-based family nights are an opportunity for grieving families to join together, centered around a creative arts activity and to make connection with other families in the community.
  • Teen Program (free of charge): Through a combination of group-based activities, social outings, and workshops, teens who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling have the opportunity to connect with each other in a safe, comfortable environment.
  • Adult consultations: Professional staff are available to meet with parents and other supporting adults to discuss a family's unique needs during the grieving process or in the case of a life-limiting illness.
  • Information & Referrals: TCR provides information and referrals to families and professionals looking for additional grief-related services in their area.

 

COMMUNITY OUTREACH & COLLABORATION

In order to serve as many grieving children, teens, and families as possible, TCR is committed to creating and deepening collaborations with other organizations throughout the Greater Boston area to provide grief support and education. TCR provides public education on issues relating to death and grief, helping people better understand grief, and how to best support grievers. We also train and supervise graduate and undergraduate students each year through our Internship Program.

EDUCATION & TRAINING OF PROFESSIONALS

TCR’s professional staff regularly offers grief education services and trainings that are proactive as well as responsive to crisis situations in schools and communities. We offer presentations to schools, youth centers, and other community-based organizations to provide education on how to support children, teens, and adults around the issues of grief and loss. This serves to help people better understand grief and how they can support themselves and others while grieving. Educating others in our grief support model, and sharing practical strategies enables professionals to respond effectively to individual children and families in their own schools, practices, and communities when tragedy strikes.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

The Children's Room follows three major principles when making decisions about organizational capacity: invest in talent; use resources wisely; and collaborate with complementary organizations to leverage our ability to reach grieving children and families. Based upon the results of an ongoing strategic planning initiative, TCR decided to add key personnel in the last few years. TCR receives no state or federal funding and must therefore invest strongly in our philanthropic capacity. In 2011, TCR hired a Philanthropy Director for the first time, enhancing our ability to solidify our financial base and to increase both philanthropic giving and diversity of fundraising at a crucial time in our development. The Philanthropy Director continued TCR's growth with the Benevon model of fundraising, added a full time Philanthropy Assistant, and has carried out a supremely effective philanthropy program, more than doubling our philanthropic income in the last 5 years. Our focus on individual major gifts has driven much of this growth.

In 2013, TCR hired a Clinical Director for the first time to oversee all programmatic functions and to increase our professional training programs, allowing our impact to grow exponentially and well beyond our geographical center. Educating others in the grief support model we've developed and sharing practical strategies enables professionals to respond effectively to individual children and families in their own schools, practices, and communities when tragedy strikes. The addition of a Clinical Director has also allowed us to expand and enrich our internship program for graduate and undergraduate students. Our internship program allows us to impact the future of the field of bereavement by training the next generation of professionals working in social work, psychology, expressive arts, and child life. Also, it has helped us increase our capacity to serve grieving children and teens in our center and a growing number of off-site locations.

In 2014 we created a three-year (2015 – 2017) Strategic Plan to guide our organization. We have a Strategic Implementation Task Force comprised of board and staff members whose charter is to communicate and oversee the implementation of our Strategic Plan. This task force meets on a quarterly basis. As the end of this time approaches, we are in the process of creating a new committee to create our next three-year plan which will take us through 2020.

In order to leverage our ability to reach as many grieving families as possible, TCR has made concerted efforts to partner with organizations throughout the metro Boston area to offer trainings, consultation, and collaborative programming. Our latest partnership is with Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, working with Club staff to provide peer support groups for grieving children in a growing number of Clubs across the city. In October 2016, we were able to begin our newest partnership with the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club in Roxbury and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester. Made possible by a Be There grant from the New York Life Foundation, the partnership is part of a comprehensive approach to helping the Club community cope with loss, death, grief, and bereavement while also helping assisting Club members to build resiliency skills.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The Children's Room implements a continuous performance improvement strategy utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data. Regular process evaluation occurs on a monthly basis through data reporting and analysis using a client database system to track programmatic efforts and to monitor quantitatively the success and growth of our multiple programs. Key indicators are: # of individual children, adults, and families served; # of community peer support groups held; # of Information and Referral calls answered; and # of hours spent on services; amount others.

Further, numerous instruments are used to measure satisfaction levels of all individuals participating in TCR programs, including peer support groups, parenting education workshops, professional trainings, and teen events. In order to understand the impact of peer support group participation on children and parents in family groups, TCR implements both pre- and post-participation surveys of children and adults. The qualitative data resulting from these instruments allow TCR to hear directly from participants about aspects of the program that are effective and ideas for improvement. By implementing evaluation instruments with both adults and children, TCR is able to understand some of the impact that participation has on grieving families. As an example, one teen surveyed said, "Through the support sessions, I grew from my dad's death and learned that it was okay to be upset sometimes because I can survive grief." Another teen expressed, "The Children's Room focuses on grief, losing someone you love, a person who is so dear it's hard to bear. Everyone there has lost someone they loved. Seeing that can really make a person open their hearts to these people and they are no longer strangers in a room. They are the voices helping you get by, a reason to believe that things will get better. I guess what TCR has really portrayed to my heart is that there is hope, and that happiness will seep in even if it takes time." 

Grief, feelings of isolation, and the consequences of experiencing the death of a parent or sibling are difficult to measure quantitatively. By implementing surveys and interviews with all participants, TCR is able to use self-report measures to identify key aspects of program impact on both individuals and families.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

TCR has gone from serving 7 families in our first year to serving over 100 families in peer support groups at our Arlington center each year. Our major accomplishments include creating additional services families can access in order to find the right fit for their needs and schedules; such as Parenting While Grieving educational series, monthly arts-based family nights, individual consultations, teen-specific programming, and comprehensive referrals.

Beyond our center, we have created free peer support groups for children and teens at various schools and community centers in the greater Boston area. Since our first school-based peer support group in 2011, TCR has created a total of 9 groups for children and teens at off-site locations, including 2 Boys & Girls Clubs in Chelsea and Boston. These groups have served almost 100 youth who are not able to access our Arlington groups. We have also deepened our collaboration with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, conducting professional trainings for Club staff and beginning preparations to develop peer support groups in additional Clubs this coming year.

A significant addition to our services is our professional training program that provides professionals in various social services, education, and healthcare settings with the tools they need to support grieving children and families and create crisis plans for their communities. We also train and supervise graduate and undergraduate students each year through our internship training program, educating the next generation of professionals entering the fields of mental health counseling, expressive therapies, and social work.

TCR also continues to seeks ways to enhance and expand our programming specifically for teens. Grieving teens can be a particularly challenging group to reach with support, but they are also at greater risk of turning to substances and other unhealthy behaviors to cope with their grieving. In fiscal year 2015, we hired a Youth and Community Outreach Coordinator to assist with the development and implementation of our growing teen programming. Thanks to this new staff position and our growing intern program, we are now able to offer events specifically for grieving teens on a monthly basis throughout the program year. These social outings and arts-based workshops are each organized with a therapeutic theme, and these events are designed to meet a wide range of teens’ natural interests, skills, comfort levels, and communication styles.

One area where we are looking to expand is Thought Leadership. We have successfully developed a number of valuable initiatives for a Thought Leadership program including a one-day Opioid impact workshop; a college/grad-level curriculum on grief; a manual on Parenting While Grieving; and a presentation at a national NAGC (National Alliance for Grieving Children) webinar. We envision creating a Thought Leadership Institute where we would act as a training resource in the field of grief support.