Principles of The Compassionate Friends
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Everyone joining a local meeting deserves the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings. However, no one is compelled to do so.
- All participants at a TCF gathering have the responsibility to listen.
- TCF reaches out to the bereaved primarily through our community of local and virtual chapters, 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.
- 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.
- TCF is coordinated nationally in its support to its Chapters, bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.
- TCF’s national operations are guided through its by-laws, policies, and procedures, and overseen by a volunteer board whose members are elected by its Chapters and Regional Coordinators.
- 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.
Find a Local Chapter
Use the chapter locator to find out information about chapters in your area. Locate a Chapter by selecting your state and zip code.
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