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Children’s and Parents’ Program

Intended Audience

Families where an adult member is living with cancer. Parents and/or significant caregivers are invited to attend with children.

Program Description

Wellspring Calgary offers a Children’s and Parents’ Program that brings parents (or grandparents, favorite aunts etc…) and their children together for networking, conversations about having cancer in the family, and for tools to help cope with and express feelings. This program is for families in which the parent (or grandparent, etc…) has been diagnosed with cancer and the children in their lives are between the ages of five and 12.

Benefits and Impact

  • Education and support for both parents and kids regarding parental cancer
  • Connecting with other families
  • Identifying family strengths and challenges going forward

What to Expect at a Session

Children participate in the Kidz Corner Program, where they learn through age-appropriate conversations and therapeutic play activities, that they are not alone. Children are guided by a child life specialist who helps them explore what cancer is and how it impacts their loved ones and their families. Each week the children are provided with a short video outlining some fun activity that will guide their discussion when they come together for their program session. Kidz corner is 30-45 minutes.

After the children’s session and a short break, the parents will meet online and share parenting strategies and experiences related to their lived cancer journey. Topics align with the kidz corner to allow for ongoing family conversation.

What to Expect at the In-Person Program:

Families come together for eight evenings in as many weeks, and benefit from the sense of community that comes with shared-experiences as both children and adults. The evening begins with the entire group sharing a prepared meal together, then adults and children go to separate program rooms to enjoy distinct activities. Children are guided by a child life specialist who helps them explore what cancer is and how it impacts their loved ones and their families. Adults share parenting strategies and experiences related to their lived cancer journey. Near the end of the evening, the children present the discoveries they have made. This shared experience promotes ongoing conversations at home and helps ease tensions in family interactions.

Program Details

Online via Zoom / in-person also offered when centres reopen

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