The WARM Place (What About Remembering Me Center, Inc.) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing grief support services to children and their families, as well as young adults ages 19-25, who have experienced a death loss. We also provide a continuing program of grief education and training.
No, we offer peer support groups. At The WARM Place, we support a “companioning” approach in our work with children who are grieving. As children experience grief at The WARM Place, they share their stories and hear the stories of others with similar death losses. The sharing of stories allows them to incorporate the loss, not only in their heads, but also in their hearts—and that is where healing begins.
If you feel you or your child would benefit from individual counseling, we would be happy to provide names of counselors and community agencies in your area.
Our services are offered at no cost to families. The WARM Place relies on donations from many individuals, businesses, and private foundations to guarantee that families will never be charged a fee for our services.
We do not permit drop-ins in any of our groups due to the confidentiality of our clients. Please call us at 817-870-2272 to begin the intake process.
After a death occurs, a parent or guardian may schedule an intake appointment for the family to visit The WARM Place and talk with one of our Group Directors about the death loss. Appointments are available Monday - Friday at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. During the first visit, the Group Director will explain the program, talk with each family member, and determine if The WARM Place is the right fit for the family. Children also participate in a “practice circle” with the Group Director, where they are able to get an idea of what to expect on the first group night.
The WARM Place program does not fit the needs of every child. The purpose of an intake appointment is to assess each child's needs. If a child's situation requires other intervention, the Group Director will refer the family to another program, such as individual counseling.
Groups are divided by grade (K-3rd, 4th-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th) and the type of death loss the child has experienced. Each night of the week is designated for a different type of death loss: parent, brother/sister, and grandparent/friend/other family member.
Our regular ongoing groups meet every other week on either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening from 6:15 p.m.– 8:30 p.m.
The Young Adult and Pre-K groups meet at different times throughout the year.
Find more information about our Group Nights.
View our calendar of group meetings and special events.
On group nights, families gather for a pot-luck dinner and conversation, and then break into small groups by age. Each group has its own volunteer facilitators who lead the discussion and direct age-appropriate activities designed to help participants express their emotions constructively. Learn more about Group Nights here.
Our Group Directors, who are licensed mental health professionals, develop all our group activities to encourage age-appropriate expressions of grief. Art, creative writing, selected readings, games, and other activities are used to help children explore their emotions and allow for the expression of feelings. Trained counselors and social workers monitor each group as well to provide constructive feedback to volunteers and provide assistance as needed.
Any type of entrée or vegetable works great. Please bring enough to feed 4-6 people. On a typical night, families bring fried chicken, salad, pasta dishes, casseroles, meatloaf, green beans—you name it!
We ask that you please do not bring a dessert. Once a month we bring out the birthday cake and celebrate birthdays!
While children are meeting in their respective groups, the parents/guardians meet separately to learn how to manage their grief and how to help their children at the same time. We do not offer programs for adults without children who are grieving.
How to Get Involved and Support The WARM Place
Yes! We would love for you to see the beautiful WARM Place house and learn more about our grief support program for children. Contact us at 817-870-2272.
As the first grief support center for children in Texas, The WARM Place provides community education, training, and guest speakers for various groups and events. Contact us for more details.
Yes, we do offer CEU's for our facilitator training, as well as other trainings and workshops. Please contact us for details.
FAQs for School Professionals
It’s important for teachers to acknowledge the death, but most students don’t want to be “different” or set apart from their peers. Start by talking with the family and the student to ask what their wishes are about sharing information to classmates. Options include:
- Sending a note home with students informing parents about the death.
- Classmates can make sympathy cards or other expressions of support.
- In certain situations, telling the class what has happened in advance of the student’s return can be helpful, so the student is not “bombarded” with questions.
You don’t have to wait for the child to begin a conversation about the death loss. Be simple, straightforward, and say: “I’m sorry about your mother’s death. I am here and would like to help you.” Saying nothing conveys the message that it is not okay to show grief feelings or talk about their experience.
Avoid euphemisms and speak directly, using the words “dead” and “died”. It is also helpful to use the same language the student uses. Try not to use phrases that soften the blow such as “sleeping”, “passed away” or “lost”. These messages can be confusing and instill fear and anxiety.
Remember to continue to inquire in the weeks and months that follow, not only in the first few days after the death.
It’s important to acknowledge the death and not ignore it. Allow the student time and opportunities to talk about what they are feeling. Allowing them to share memories of their friend or school official can be very helpful. Take time to answer questions with age-appropriate truth and what the family allows.
It is okay to say “I don’t know” and “we don’t have all the answers.”
A child who is grieving is more susceptible to bullying due to grief feelings and emotions, since many children don’t understand what they’re going through. It’s not uncommon for grieving students to experience teasing or bullying about a death loss. In young children, it can look like “at least I have a dad,” or “you can’t do Donuts with Dad,” and “stop crying just because you don’t have a mom.”
It’s important to address the issue immediately and not let it continue. Set boundaries in the classroom, lunch, recess, and other times. Help the grieving child develop strategies for handling the teasing, as well as giving appropriate consequences to the bully.
Yes, if your school permits. Many WARM Place children have said how much it meant to them when their teachers and classmates attended the funeral.
Remember that children each experience grief at their own pace and may not show concerning behaviors immediately. Consider the intensity and duration of the following behaviors over a prolonged period:
- Persistence of blame or guilt
- Character changes
- Aggressive/destructive outbursts
- Depression/suicidal thoughts or actions
- Illegal acts/stealing
- Appearance/exhibiting no emotion or feeling
- Signs of addictive behavior (drugs, food, etc)
- Prolonged dysfunction in school (falling grades, withdrawal from extracurricular activities, social isolation)
Grief in younger children often affects them in a physical way: headaches, stomach aches and lack of sleep can result in frequent trips to the school nurse’s office. They may also ask to call their parents or go home.
Grief affects teens on many levels, including how they think, feel and behave. The death of a friend or family member can be emotionally, physically, and cognitively exhausting. Focusing on school work can become a problem. Lack of sleep often contributes to their lack of focus. Feelings of grief can be triggered in school assemblies, curriculum, activities, or by other students.
Carefully listening for the underlying need is key. Teachers and counselors can work together to provide emotional safety and support at school.
One of the biggest fears for younger children is their own security and safety when someone dies. They worry that someone else might die while they’re at school or away from home. Sometimes just allowing the child to talk with his/her parent on the phone can provide reassurance and renew the child’s sense of security.
Allowing a student to go home often becomes a slippery slope and may result in habits that are hard to break. Ideally the situations are handled on a case-by-case basis. Working with the child and parents to identify grief triggers can help in the process.
Offer the grieving student options: allow them to identify and talk with a trusted teacher or counselor, take a short time out of the classroom, or talk to the parent/caregiver on the phone.
It can be beneficial for a child to attend the funeral to make the death more real and concrete. It can also be helpful for a child to take part in it, for example, lighting a candle, reading, sharing a memory, etc. Remind the family that it’s important to explain to the child what to expect at the funeral.
Children can be encouraged to attend and participate in the planning but should never be forced to do so. When they are lovingly guided through the process, and know what to expect, most children want to attend the funeral.
Let it be the child’s choice. Offer the child options.
Adults can have trouble facing death themselves at times, so open, honest discussions about death with children can be difficult. Sometimes adults don’t want to talk about the death because they think they will spare the child pain and sadness. The reality is, children will grieve anyway.
Children need to be told the facts surrounding the death in simple language appropriate to their age and understanding. Young children grieve in short blocks of time. Adults should answer their questions in a matter of fact way as many times as needed for the child to comprehend.
Teens may need to take time to process the information. It is important they hear from someone they trust rather than from other teens or through social media. Talk to them in a safe, comfortable place and let their questions guide your sharing.