Establishing an Aftercare Program
Please tell me where to find information/obtain training to establish an Aftercare Program at a funeral home.
Congratulations on considering founding an aftercare program. It is one of the most emotional rewarding projects there is.
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you wish to start a support group or a recovery group, as they are very different.
Support groups can meet anywhere from weekly to monthly. These are groups that give people a forum to share about their loss and visit with other people. They are often loss specific (such as Compassionate Friends, Widowed Persons Service, Parent of Murdered Children, etc.) You can obtain some excellent information on support programs from Sherry Williams, another member of this panel. You can contact her at Accord Grief Management Services at 1-800-346-3087 or at www.accordinc.com. She has training programs and a wonderful catalogue of books and resources.
Recovery Programs normally will run on a weekly basis for a set number of weeks. These programs are focused on helping people recover and move beyond the loss, and, in my opinion, are of outstanding value to those who participate. I would recommend that you contact The Grief Recovery Institute at (818)-907-9600 or at www.grief-recovery.com.
I have been working with The Grief Recovery Institute for 20 years in running Grief Recovery programs, first at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home in Lincoln, NE and now at Floral Haven Funeral Home in Broken Arrow, OK. These programs are open to any adult who has experienced any significant loss and while most attend because of a death, we have some who come for other losses such as divorce. (The tools of recovery are the same no matter the loss.) The recovery workshops run 12 weeks and every person trained by the Grief Recovery Institute has a complete lesson plan for the meetings and continual support from their office.
I have worked with thousands of people over the years and the positive changes the come with recovery are greater, in my opinion, than what come from a support group.
I encourage you to contact both Accord and the Grief Recovery Institute so that you can see what each has to offer and make the decision that is right for you and your funeral home. - Steve Moeller