Meeting the needs of grieving children across the US

I am so excited to share with you the amazing conference The Christi Center was able to take part in this year.  The conference was the 17th Annual Symposium for the National Alliance for Grieving Children.  This organization has been growing dramatically over the last decade, largely due to the increased awareness and therefore program development that meets the needs of grieving children throughout the country.    As we move towards our 26th year at The Christi Center, it is encouraging to see that each year grief services around the country are growing toward meeting the need.

NAGC Symposium image


Our Executive Director, Cara Fox and I were both honored to present workshops at the conference.   Cara presented a workshop entitled “Help Your Board Grow” which received rave reviews from the Program Directors table at lunch.  I was able to present a workshop titled “Interns: Educating the Counselors   of Tomorrow while Helping the Children of Today.”  Cara and I both enjoyed presenting; however, the highlight of this three day conference was sharing ideas with agencies throughout the country who all work for the same end goal – to help our agencies advance our services to better meet the needs of grieving children and families

As someone who has had a passion for grief work for 20 years and has been blessed to work with the Christi Center for over six years, it is hard for me to express how exciting it is to see the growth in the field today.  One of the key note presentations was about play therapy with grieving children and how important it is as both a medium and an outcome to healing.  Anyone who attends one of our Kids Who Kare group knows that play is an essential part of the work we do.  A quote mentioned in a workshop solidified all of the play/work we do with children:

 “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”


The NAGC Conference was an amazing opportunity to learn new interventions, skills and projects for kids, teens and families and see how grief work services have grown nationally.  One of the best parts was being able to showcase what The Christi Center has been able to do for the Central Texas community.

About the Author

Erin Spalding, LMSW, is Program Director and leads the Kids Who Kare and Teen groups. She has a strong passion for griefwork – particularly with grieving kids and teens because of the loss of her dad at age 9 and her mom to a stroke at age 17.  She is also  committed to  working with LGBT and HIV/AIDS populations.

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