The Vision of Paradise Kids
In addition to providing end-of-life care, Hopewell has developed the Paradise Kids programs, which focus on children’s experiences grief, loss and illness, as well as caring for young people and adults.
An experience of loss, whether through death, separation or divorce or through the ravages and changes of illness and hospitalisation, is one of life’s most devastating changes for children to bear, and strong feelings of grief are normal.
Growth and healing happen when the child moves through various phases of grief and completes the tasks of grief, i.e. Understanding, Grieving, Commemorating and Moving on into a new sense of self that is stronger than before.
Research has shown that for both children and adults the natural healing process of grief can take place more effectively if there is a safe, supportive environment and encouragement.
While the children are meeting, parents and carers have their own support group available.
Paradise Kids aims to help heal the heartache, and this emphasis on ‘heart-work’ indicates the use of holistic approaches to address all aspects of the person – body, mind and spirit.
Paradise Kids programs teach valuable life skills. Primary among these skills is a growth in empathy towards others & the ability to be aware of & express their own feelings in healthy & creative ways. These skills support children to move forward in life with the confidence that they’ll be able to meet future challenges in times of change.
An essential component of Paradise Kids has been the involvement of trained volunteers working one-on-one to provide individual support for the children as buddies.
The volunteer buddies take part in a 42-hour Grief Counselling Course, with a focus on Children and Grief, to prepare them for their role.
Another component of the Paradise Kids services has been the Illness Support Program, which assists children with long-term or life-limiting illnesses, as well as supporting their parents and siblings. Experienced volunteer buddies receive additional training to become involved in this program.