At CHKD, we want to offer parents, patients and family members access to as many support resources as possible. We offer several support groups right here at CHKD. Below is a list of the ongoing groups available. We are always interested in starting new groups, so if you want to develop a special interest group, let us know and we'll be happy to share ideas.
XIBS (Extremely Important Brothers and Sisters)
XIBS is a program for siblings of CHKD oncology patients. The program is designed to minimize the harm of cancer on siblings and to provide education and support. The program is open to siblings 5-14 years old.
For more information, email Bryan Sellitti or call him at (757) 668-6754.
"Dine and Discover"
Dine and Discover is a support and education group for CHKD NICU families. The meetings are facilitated by a social worker and parent support coordinator (NICU graduate parent) to connect families with one another, offer support and to provide education opportunities. The group meets twice a month on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
For more information, email Rachel Houck or Maureen Heald or call them at (757) 668-7941.
Food Allergy Support Group of Tidewater (FASGOT)
FASGOT is a support group for parents and families of children with food allergies. Our mission is to provide educational support about food allergies to the community. Meetings are held monthly (evening hours). The fee is $20, but there is no charge for medical and educational professionals. Refreshments will be served.
For more information and meeting dates, please visit the FASGOT website.
Bereaved Parent Support Group
Open to parents who have experienced the loss of a young or adolescent child. Trained pediatric chaplains and social workers serve as facilitators. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Ronald McDonald House at 404 Colley Avenue. To RSVP, email Linda Baynes or call her at (757) 668-8246.
Healing Hearts Family Support Group on Facebook
For parents and siblings of past and present Cardiac/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) patients, the Healing Hearts Family Support Group is an active private Facebook page which has an
online support group for local families impacted by congenital heart
defects. This is a great way for families to connect, gain support,
ask questions, and share their journey. The group is being administered
by Amber Vann. Please contact them via Facebook, “Healing Hearts for Benjamin.”
Sibshops are lively, pedal-to-the-metal workshops for siblings of children with special needs. Sibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of a person with special needs is for some a good thing, for others a not-so-good thing, and for many, somewhere in between. The Sibshop model intersperses information and discussion activities with games designed to be unique, offbeat and appealing to a wide range of abilities. These two-hour workshops are at CHKD and at the Health & Surgery Center at Oyster Point monthly from September to May.
View the upcoming calendar.
For more information or to register, email Kristi Edwards or Ashley Hayes or call the social work department at (757) 668-7273.
Support Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs
Parenting a child with special needs is complicated; navigating the medical and education systems, juggling frequent appointments and trying to manage financial hardships can be overwhelming and may seem very lonely. These tasks will seem less daunting, however, with the assistance and support of other parents who are walking the same road. You are not alone.
These support groups for parents of children with significant special needs are monthly in the evenings at CHKD in Norfolk. Dinner is provided. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate children at these groups. Please call (757) 668-7941 or (757) 668-8546 for more information.