What We Do
We teach parents how to parent and kids how to cope during a parent’s illness. Families are welcome regardless of the stage or severity of illness, and services are free of charge.
We work with each family to determine if the children would thrive best in individual sessions or group sessions. For example, siblings may meet together or have separate support plans. We will also offer parenting support and family sessions.
Using the exclusive Wonders & Worries Illness Education and Coping Curriculum, the core sessions are customizable. The individual sessions are free of charge and available in English and Spanish.
Group sessions are also free of charge and are designed for children age 6-14 years, with groups aligned by age. There are group opportunities for children and teens who are new to Wonders & Worries and for those who would benefit from ongoing support. Group support gives children and teens the opportunity to bond with others who are experiencing similar situations and provide an outlet for learning and sharing.
New Wonderers Six-Session Groups
New Wonderers groups are designed for children and teens who are new to Wonders & Worries. These groups are separated by age, with elementary school-aged children meeting together and middle school-aged children meeting together. Based on the Wonders & Worries Illness Education and Coping Curriculum, the six-session groups are customized to the needs of the children and teens. These groups are free of charge.
No Worries Monthly Check-in Groups
No Worries monthly check-in groups are offered for children and teens who already completed the Wonders & Worries initial six-session support through individual or group sessions. These monthly groups allow children and teens to check-in as needed and to interact with peers in similar circumstances. No Worries monthly check-in groups are free of charge.
Check-in groups are available for the following:
- Elementary school-aged children who have a parent with an ongoing illness
- Elementary school-aged children who have experienced the loss of a parent
- Middle-school or high-school tweens/teens who have a parent with an ongoing illness or have experienced the loss of a parent.
Parenting while ill – or during a spouse’s illness – is uniquely challenging. We offer a variety of parent support services and tools that can be used independently or alongside the services for children and teens.
Before a child or teen is enrolled in individual or group sessions, parents and caregivers are asked to meet the child life staff member who will be working with their children. This gives us the opportunity to start a relationship with parents and caregivers so that together we can support their child or teen.
The initial parent intake is required before support sessions with a child or teen can begin. The parent intake can occur at a Wonders & Worries office, treatment facility or hospital, in a home or over the phone if needed.
Parent consultations keep parents and caregivers involved throughout the support process. They happen in person, over the phone or through email.
During consultations, parents can discuss and receive feedback on their child’s understanding and coping. This also gives parents the opportunity to ask questions and to update us on illness information.
The child-parent relationship can become harder to navigate after a parent or caregiver has been diagnosed with a serious illness. To make the transition easier, we offer periodic parenting classes. These classes are designed for parents of children ages four to 14. Free childcare and a meal are included.
Our services are available to all families in need of support during a parent’s illness, and we will continue to give that support even in the event of loss.
We do not begin work with new families if a loss has already occurred. If a family has already experienced a loss, we recommend reaching out to the following Central Texas organizations for support:
Family Fun Events
Family Fun events are quarterly opportunities for children and teens to break away from the stress of a parent’s illness. These events give families the opportunity to relax and enjoy time together, while meeting other families facing similar situations.
The following events are hosted by Wonders & Worries:
- Hoping Hearts Bowling Party
- Ice Cream Social
- Ladybird Lake Bat Cruise
- Costumed Festifall
The generosity of community partners keeps all Wonders & Worries Family Fun events free of charge for families. Volunteers and donors are invited to help sponsor these events. For more information on Family Fun events, call 512-329-5757.