The New Song Center for Grieving Children was founded in 1989 by Gabrielle Lawrence, Ph.D., Heather Devich, Ed.D., and Cindy Weidner. Other community leaders – including psychologists, bereavement specialists and concerned parents – made up the founding board of directors. In 2009, New Song joined Hospice of the Valley to create the largest full-spectrum grief support program in Maricopa County.
Our mission is two-fold: providing nurturing support for grieving children, teens, young adults and their families, and offering comprehensive grief education to volunteers, professionals and the community.
About one million children reside in the county. According to an Arizona State University study, 35,000 children in Maricopa County will experience the death of a parent each year, and many more experience the death of a grandparent, sibling or other significant loved one. New Song meets the needs of those families.
Our trained volunteers facilitate ongoing support groups under the direction of professional staff. The center, funded through donations, is a program of not-for-profit Hospice of the Valley. It is the only grief support group program in Maricopa County that focuses on children.
Within age-specific grief support groups, a safe place is created in which children are supported through developmentally appropriate activities including art, play and journaling. Adults attend their own support groups, where they learn how to help children and teens process grief in a healthy manner and how to help themselves cope with loss.
Click here to download an informational brochure about the New Song Center.