A program of Dougy Center: The National Grief Center for Children & Families

Issue 10, July 2023

L.Y.G.H.T Presented at the National Alliance for Children’s Grief 26th Annual Symposium on Children's Grief

Last month, Dougy Center’s L.Y.G.H.T. program presented at the Annual Symposium for the National Alliance for Children’s Grief. Juliette Martinez, MSW, South Carolina L.Y.G.H.T. State Coordinator, presented our new L.Y.G.H.T. Tip Sheet, Tips for Supporting Youth in Foster Care Who are Grieving. Pictured below from left to right are fellow employees of Dougy Center including Executive Director, Brennan Wood; SC L.Y.G.H.T. State Coordinator, Juliette Martinez; Sr. Director of Advocacy & Education and L.Y.G.H.T. Co-Founder, Dr. Donna Schuurman; Director of Program Services, Alysha Lacey; Director of Equity & Community Outreach, Cristina Chipriano; and National Director and Founder of the L.Y.G.H.T. program, Dr. Monique Mitchell. 

Tips for Teens in Foster Care Who are Grieving 

When youth in foster care are grieving people and places they care about, most youth feel as if no one understands. The latest Tip Sheet and resource was developed for youth who are grieving. Some losses youth face while navigating the foster care system include the loss of control over their lives, stability, family and friend relationships, and other important losses. If you know a youth who wants to feel understood or know that someone gets what they are experiencing, please share this Tip Sheet with them. If you want to learn more about how to support youth in foster care, visit our website dougy.org/lyght

L.Y.G.H.T. Program Research Study Update

In 2021, Dougy Center started its second randomized control trial (RCT) for the L.Y.G.H.T. program. We are excited to announce that our last data collection is now complete, and we are now moving into the analysis stage. We look forward to sharing the impact and outcomes of this evidence-based peer grief support program for teens and young adults who are grieving. Thank you to all our L.Y.G.H.T. youth, community partners, facilitators, and research team!

The Value of L.Y.G.H.T. Facilitators

L.Y.G.H.T. Facilitators are critical to the successful implementation of the L.Y.G.H.T. program. Talking about loss and grief can be challenging for some youth but with a consistent trusted adult, youth in foster care can establish trust in knowing that a L.Y.G.H.T. Facilitator is there to support and validate their feelings without judgement or authority over them. As one of our facilitators stated:

 “We just give space for our participants to get to know each other and hear about some of their shared experiences and emotions. Some participants like to talk a lot, others prefer to listen. Both of these are completely acceptable and important.”

– Danny Smith, Thornwell L.Y.G.H.T. Facilitator 

We want to thank all South Carolina L.Y.G.H.T. Facilitators for their commitment to serving youth in foster care across their state! Stay tuned for the expansion of the LYGHT Program in Portland, Oregon. If you are a child welfare-serving organization in the Portland Metro area and are interested in learning more about the L.Y.G.H.T. program, please contact us at [email protected]

For more information about L.Y.G.H.T., send us an email or visit our website.
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