Southcoast Health partners with Children’s Treehouse Foundation to bring cancer education program to region
FAIRHAVEN, Mass. — Southcoast Health announced today that it is collaborating with the Children’s Treehouse Foundation to provide training to local healthcare and community leaders on how to provide emotional support to children whose parents are diagnosed with cancer.
The Children’s Treehouse Foundation answers the question, “How do I tell my children I have cancer?”, with a unique program that provides coping skills to children whose parents or grandparents have been diagnosed with cancer. Known as CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery), the program helps to normalize feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear and anger for the kids and stimulates improved communication between the children and their parents.
For the first time in its 15-year history, the Children’s Treehouse Foundation is partnering with a cancer center to host the training for oncology social workers, child life specialists and/or nurses to learn to run a CLIMB program. The training will occur from October 12 to 14 at the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care in Fairhaven, Mass.
“We are seeing more and more young families with children effected by cancer.” says Kathy Tsonis, Oncology Outreach Coordinator for Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care. “We are so excited to be the catalyst that brings the CLIMB Program to our cancer center and to our community.”
The CLIMB Program serves more than 1,560 children and 500 families each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that almost 1.7 million adults in the U.S. were diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and they have more than 749,000 children under 18. Moreover, it is estimated that 2.85 million children younger than 18 are currently living with a parent who has cancer.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 25 percent of individuals diagnosed with cancer are between the ages of 25 and 54, which are prime childbearing and parenting years. There are more than 1,400 cancer centers in the U.S. and most do not have a program like CLIMB for the children of its cancer centers. This training will help to decrease that gap in services.
Visit http://childrenstreehousefdn.org/ for more information.
About the Children’s Treehouse
The Children’s Treehouse Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado with the mission of improving psychosocial adjustment in children, ages 5 through 12, who have a parent or grandparent with cancer. Founded in January 2001, their mission is to ensure that every child whose parent is diagnosed with cancer is given the early tools and emotional support to cope. The Children’s Treehouse Foundation has created a research-based, psychosocial intervention, group-support program called CLIMB – Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery. CLIMB helps to normalize feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear and anger for the kids and stimulates improved communication between the children and their parents. CLIMB is the only group-based, manualized, and internationally delivered intervention that has been developed specifically for children with a parent or caregiver with cancer. The Children’s Treehouse Foundation trains oncology social workers, child life specialists and/or nurses at cancer centers to deliver the program.