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Offering Parent Guidance

Being able to share a developmental perspective about a child’s reactions to help parents discern when additional help is needed for any of their children, and providing suggestions for resources—both in one’s geographic area and online (see other organizations and programs) can be enormously beneficial for families.

In one’s own community, resources for parents may be found through:

  • Schools: Schools may have their own professionals who can support children directly, such as school psychologists, guidance counselors, and school nurses. If not, schools can frequently suggest therapists in the area who have expertise working with children and families.
  • Pediatricians: Parents can talk to their child’s pediatrician regarding particular concerns about their child, and frequently get several names of local professionals who may be able to help.
  • Mental health resources: Knowing what mental health resources—clinics, group practices, names of therapists in private practice—exist in your community makes it easier to guide parents in the right direction when there are reasons to worry about a child’s coping.
  • Hospice organizations: Although every hospice service is different, many employ social workers or child life specialists who are trained to help children living with a terminally ill parent. Some also run groups for children or maintain lists of therapists who have interest and training in working with children and families managing illness.