Syllabus outline (Weeks 1-10)

Teen Hope - A Grief Support Program for Teenagers.

The Mission
The mission of Teen Hope is to reach as many teenagers as possible who are searching for an outlet for their grief. This mission entails the publishing of the program by Grateful Steps Foundation and distributing the publications at youth conferences to youth leaders at no charge.

This program is designed to help teens work through their grief by sharing their feelings, thoughts and pain with a group of their peers who are going through the same difficult situation. Grief is a natural response to death, and people in all age groups struggle with how to work through their grief. Teenagers are confronted with painful adjustments following the death of someone close to them. They grieve deeply and need special attention to successfully handle their grief. As a way of expressing their grief, teens may develop unhealthy behavior patterns which could lead to making choices that might have a negative affect on the rest of their lives.

The objective of Teen Hope is to facilitate healthy grieving and avoid negative outcomes. Although there are programs available for grieving adults and children, support and resources for teens are limited.

Teen Hope will meet on a weekly basis for ten consecutive weeks. Each meeting will last for ninety minutes which includes a ten-minute break. The meetings will involve activities and group interaction. Teen Hope will offer guidance and support in a Christ- centered environment. The program design is intended for groups of three to eight teens but may also be used as a guide for working with larger groups such as a class or school that has lost one of its members.

Group Leaders
Teen Hope can be administered by youth pastors, youth leaders/workers, Christian counselors, grief counselors, group home directors and school counselors. A co-leader would be a positive influence on the group and provide extra help along with added support for the teens.

Group Members
The age range for Teen Hope is 13 to 18 years of age of any race or culture. The group may consist of the same or mixed genders. Each member will be asked to make a commitment to be present each week, arrive on time and remain throughout the entire meeting. Members must also agree to confidentiality within the group. The program will challenge teens to understand the process of grieving and learn new, positive coping skills that will carry them into a successful, promising adulthood.