Virtual Program Frequently Asked Questions
Children's Care Groups are a welcoming place for TAPS kids to be among their TAPS community in a virtual setting. In the Children's Care Group, kids will have an opportunity to share their journey, increase their coping resources through interactive activities, and connect with their peers and TAPS mentors. This session is hosted by trained Group Leaders, Mentors and/or Staff. As the kids log in to the meeting, they will be placed in a breakout group with their age appropriate peers.
Do parents/guardians attend with their child?
For children ages 4 to 9 attending, parents or guardians are required to be close by during the session. For ages 10-12, parents are asked to be nearby.
Is my child required to share?
No. This is a safe space, and there is not a requirement to talk. We simply ask that those choosing not to share respect those who are sharing by listening.
Will my child be paired with a mentor for the sessions?
No. We will not be pairing children one on one with a mentor as we do at our in person event, or Good Grief Camps. For our virtual events, mentors will be present in the session and there to support all participants. However, we provide the opportunity to request a mentor for your child through our mentor matching enrollment form.
Is there any programming for children under four?
Yes, all children of any age are welcome to participate with their parent or guardian in our TAPS Family nights, and through our printable activity books.
Parents and guardians often reach out to ask how they can best help their children when they are grieving the death of someone in their life. This parenting care group was developed to provide a safe space for parents and guardians to share their challenges around parenting bereaved children. We will have some open discussion, along with ideas and information about how to engage with your children and teenagers. We will also invite special guests to share their wisdom on parenting and connecting with your children and teenagers even in the midst of grief.
The TAPS Youth Programs offers free, ongoing teen grief support for ages 13 to 18, who have experienced the death of a military service related family member (parent or sibling). TAPS Teen Programming will provide a safe place for teens to express feelings, share experiences, learn about grief and move forward in their grief process. This program is not intended to provide therapy, but rather to facilitate an environment where young people can find inner strength, learn healthy coping skills, and build supportive relationships.
Teen Programming is designed to:
- Introduce peers who can personally relate to the death of a family member
- Provide peer mentorship
- Teach healthy coping skills for managing grief in daily life
- Develop resilience in youth affected by death and grief
- Break the barrier of isolation teens may feel after a death
Teen Programming offers these separate sessions:
- New to Loss Teen Group: Meet up with other teens with a more recent loss of two years or less.
- Class of 2021: Join other high school seniors to support one another, share after high school plans, and learn about TAPS Young Adult opportunities.
- Teen Coffee House: Connect with other teens regardless of the length of time it has been since the loss occurred.
This session offers an opportunity for a unique and exciting experience for the whole family to bond, learn how to cope, support each other, communicate together, and have fun. There may be special guests, creative activities, and time together as a family with other TAPS families.
The Activity Booklets provide families with an array of activity ideas that create discussion, interaction, and connection around a variety of topics related to grief, coping, and family fun. Activity Booklets are created and made available as downloadable PDFs on a quarterly basis. In addition to activity ideas, these booklets provide other ideas for family sharing, togetherness, parenting, and family engagement.
Bereaved children and teenagers who are eligible to participate in TAPS Youth Programs and Events are also eligible to be matched with a military mentor. A military mentor is someone who currently serves in the military or is a veteran and can be a caring companion and a reminder to TAPS kids that the military still cares for them. A legacy mentor is an adult who experienced the death of a military family member as a child or teenager, or who participated in and graduated from TAPS programs and is ready to support younger survivors who will follow in their path. Interaction may vary due to the mentor and your child’s/teen’s schedule and availability. Ideally, we encourage mentors to reach out virtually to their mentee at least once per month. Interactions may include social media posts, video calls, letter writing, phone calls, texting, and/or emailing. Their purpose is to be a positive role model and supportive presence in a grieving child’s or teen’s life. Request a mentor for your child or teen through our mentor matching enrollment form.
How do we access the Youth Programs’ Virtual Program Zoom Events?
To protect our minor population, we will have a different link for each care group, each month. After you register, you will be emailed the appropriate links for the different sessions you selected within your registration.
Will the Youth Programs’ Virtual Program Zoom events be recorded?
To maintain confidentiality and safety, we will not be recording this session. What is said in the group, stays in the group. Please hold what you hear in this session in confidence. There should be no sharing of details on social media. No recording or photos of the sessions as they are meant to be places of safety - confidentiality is paramount. However, our orientation to the Virtual Program will be recorded and archived for viewing at any time.
- To maintain confidentiality, participants will not share with others what is said within the Care Group.
- Confidentiality is paramount, therefore, this session will not be recorded and screenshots and photos are prohibited.
- Additionally, these Care Groups will not be posted on social media or the TAPS website. Youth Programs’ Virtual Program Care Groups are private invite only. Must be registered to receive an invitation for your child and/or teen to participate.
- Parenting Care Groups, please ensure children are not able to listen to the group as discussions may touch on sensitive topics not geared toward children’s ears and hearts. Please join our sessions from private spaces. This will be better for you and will help reassure anyone who shares that the safety and unity of the group is upheld.
Minors on Zoom:
- Children under the age of 13 must have a guardian present or near them during their Children's Care Group.
- Please be considerate and respectful of where others may be in their grief. In order to avoid re-traumatizing others and to ensure that we allow for ample sharing balance within the group, we ask that everyone avoid using the larger group as a forum for working through graphic or shocking elements of your story.. The purpose of the group is connection, not comparison. Love and grief bring us together. Each person has their own losses, opinions, beliefs, cultures, and way of experiencing grief.
- Avoid Advice Giving. Part of the beauty of our peer support groups is that we can learn from each other, but that we don’t prescribe solutions or claim to have answers. We’re all learning and exploring; we’re all each other’s teachers. We encourage language like, "this is what helped me" or "when I was faced with this problem, I ..." or, “my experience with that was…”
Will the Zoom Groups and Family Nights require me to bring materials?
If materials will be needed, we will share within our participant email reminders.
What equipment is required?
Phone, computer, tablet - anything that you use to access the online community.
Can I call in to Zoom?
Yes, phone numbers will be provided to you along with the links in the Sunday TAPS email.
What if I can’t “stay” the entire time?
It is important to participate in the entire group or event. We know that, from time to time, there might be scheduling difficulties. If this is the case, we ask that, if you and/or your child needs to leave before we conclude, that you notify us ahead of time.
On the technical side, how will I be able to share?
Each session will have a process to unmute you if you would like to speak. The presenters will go over these rules when they welcome participants.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-959-8277.