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, email Michelle Hoang or call her at (757) 284-4450. You may also visit the FASGOT website.
Healing Hearts Family Support Group
For parents and siblings of past and present Cardiac/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) patients. This group provides the opportunity to network with other families, get support and information, and learn about available resources to effectively advocate for your child.
The group meets the first Wednesday of every month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the sixth floor conference room. RSVPs are appreciated for planning purposes. For more information, contact Kristi Beers in the social work office at (757) 668-7273 or email Stephanie and Daniel Harmon.
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.
For more information or to register, email Natalie Bjorkman or call Lori Bartee 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.