Support Groups

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 have a desire to develop a special interest group, let us know and we'll be happy to share ideas.

"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 - 7:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Rachel Houck or Maureen Heald at (757) 668-7941.

XIBS (Extremely Important Brothers and Sisters)

XIBS is a program for siblings of CHKD oncology patients. The program is designed to minimize the negative impact of cancer on siblings and to provide education and support. The program is open to siblings 5-14 years of age.

For more information, contact Brian Sellitti at (757) 668-6754.

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, contact Michelle Hoang at (757) 284-4450 or visit the FASGOT website.

Healing Hearts Family Support Group

For parents and siblings of past and present Cardiac/Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU) patients. This group provides the opportunity to network with other families, get support, information and learn about available resources to effectively advocate for your child. Download flyer.


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 held at CHKD and at the Health & Surgery Center at Oyster Point on a monthly basis from September through May.

View the upcoming calendar.

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 held 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 additional information.