About Wonders & Worries
To provide professional support for children and teenagers through a parent’s illness.
We want children to continue doing well in school and enjoying activities even though their parent is going through an illness. Kid’s brains are still developing, and building a foundation of emotional resiliency allows them to reach their full potential. Watch our story as told through one of our families:
Parents often wish to protect their children, and unsure what to say, they say nothing at all. In turn, children are incredibly perceptive and pick up on the clues in the home that something is wrong. Our professional child life staff provide tools for families to build a solid foundation of communication to successfully cope during the challenge and after.
“There are no websites dedicated to teaching your kids on how to deal with the enormous weight that they have to carry with them on a daily basis. I think we’re doing well as parents, but I don’t know where we would be without the support of Wonders & Worries. Our two daughters have been able to express their emotions, talk openly about my disease and actually grow from this experience.” – Jay Smith, husband and father, diagnosed with ALS
In 2001, the Livestrong Foundation provided funding for Meredith Cooper, MS, CCLS, LPC and Melissa Hicks, MS, CCLS, LPC, RPT to start a pilot group to support children of families dealing with cancer. By August 2001, Wonders & Worries filed official paperwork to become a 501(c)(3) organization. Since its founding, Wonders & Worries has supported over 6,500 individuals and nearly 1,600 families in Central Texas. Wonders & Worries offers one of the only comprehensive programs in the nation that provides free, professional support for children in English and Spanish, and ensures a stable foundation for maximizing well-being.
What Wonders & Worries does is absolutely miraculous – generous, comforting, solid. They step in at the toughest moments in our lives, and provide a place for our kids to feel and express their feelings about illness and, at the same time, allow children to step away from the stress at home. -Wonders & Worries Parent
Wonders & Worries services are free of charge and offered in English and Spanish. The organization relies on community support and contributions to provide its professional services to families; there is no funding from federal, state, city, or county government.
After many requests for expansion, and acknowledging that Austin does not have a monopoly on sick parents, Wonders & Worries has plans to expand outside of Central Texas within the next five years.
“It may not be today or even tomorrow, but sometime in your life you will know a family who will need Wonders & Worries. We are forever grateful for the guidance and friendship of Wonders & Worries.”– Diane Wedig, wife and mother, husband was diagnosed with melanoma
At Wonders & Worries, children will:
- Gain age-appropriate understanding of their parent’s illness, treatment and side effects
- Experience opportunities to express their feelings related to the changes in their family
- Learn resiliency and coping skills that will serve them for a lifetime