Principles of The Compassionate Friends
1. TCF offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.
- We have learned through our own experiences that the death of a child, sibling, or grandchild causes a pain that is often best understood by others who have also experienced such a loss.
- We focus on supporting parents, siblings, and grandparents in their journeys through the natural process of grief.
- We define the terms “parent,” “sibling,” and “grandparent” broadly, welcoming the bereaved from all family units.
2. TCF believes that bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents can help each other toward a positive resolution of grief.
- We understand that each bereaved person travels a unique path through grief.
- We know that for some expressing thoughts and feelings are integral to the healing process, and we provide a safe, supportive environment for such expression.
- We are a self-help organization and thus do not offer professional psychotherapy or counseling.
- We respect the professional community and welcome its support. However, as a self-help organization, we do not rely on professionals for supervision or formal guidance.
3. TCF reaches out across society’s barriers to all bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.
- We respect everyone’s beliefs and espouse no specific religious or philosophical ideology.
- We welcome parents, siblings, and grandparents of all ages grieving the loss of a child, sibling, or grandchild of any age, and from any cause.
- We do not take sides on political issues or endorse political candidates.
- We treat each other with care and respect, showing consideration for those with whom we may disagree.
4. TCF understands that every member has individual needs and rights.
- We never suggest that there is a “correct” way for a parent, sibling, or grandparent to grieve.
- We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings, though no one is compelled to do so. However, each person has an obligation to listen.
5. TCF reaches out to the bereaved primarily through our community of local chapters and secondarily by website, social media, and conferences.
- TCF local chapters continue to be the heart of TCF. We support regularly scheduled chapter meetings as the foundation of our service.
- Chapter meetings are, above all, safe places where thoughts and feelings can be freely expressed, and where all participants can find care and friendship.
- TCF's secondary programs, website, social media, and conferences, create a safe and caring environment that provides comfort and support for all members.
- Chapters are self-managing, and operate within the principles, policies, and practices of TCF.
- We honor those who lead our chapters as integral to TCF’s mission, and work to support them in their outreach.
6. TCF chapters belong to their members.
- We do not charge individual dues or fees for participation in local chapter meetings.
- We treat what is said in chapter meetings as confidential information.
- We reserve the most intimate segment of chapter meetings—the sharing session—for those who are bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.
- We believe that the regularly scheduled chapter meeting should focus on sharing, healing, and hope. We recommend that issues of chapter management be addressed outside these meetings.
7. TCF is coordinated nationally in its support to its chapters, bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.
- TCF’s national operations are governed by its bylaws, policies, and procedures, and overseen by a volunteer board of its members.
- TCF’s national organization exists, first and foremost, to serve chapters and to coordinate outreach in ways that extend TCF's collective ability to reach those who seek support.
- The national organization promotes the mission of TCF, manages our relationship with TCF affiliates in other countries, and ensures the integrity of our operations and adherence to our by-laws, principles, and policies.
- As members of TCF, we acknowledge our responsibility to support our local and national goals by contributing, as best we can, our time, talent, and resources.
©2012 The Compassionate Friends, USA - All rights reserved. These materials are protected by U.S. copyright and are provided here for personal use only. Reproduction for mass distribution or for use on any website is prohibited.
The current printing of this brochure was sponsored by
Kendra Chiota Payne's parents
in loving memory of her.
TCF brochures may be purchased at a nominal cost through The Compassionate Friends by calling 877-969-0010 or by going to the Resource Section of The Compassionate Friends national website. You can sponsor a brochure printing through our Brochure Program.