SandCastles Grief Support Program

For children, teens, and families

Henry Ford Hospice created SandCastles Grief Support Program to provide a safe and comforting environment for children and teens, ages 3 to 18 and their families who have experienced a death. Every child and teen deserves the opportunity to grieve in a supportive, nurturing environment. At SandCastles, families are offered a special place where they can interact with peers who have experienced similar losses, learn life-long coping skills and most importantly, begin a healthy healing process.

With the support of staff, volunteers, peers and family members, children and teens are encouraged to honor the loved one who has died, while expressing their grief in a manner that is uniquely their own. Participation in peer group activities supports the healing process by helping children, teens, and parents/guardians know they are not alone on their grief journey.

Visit to learn more about our program or call (313) 771-7005 to speak with a staff member. Since finances are often greatly impacted after a death, we offer our services at no charge to participating families. We are grateful for our generous donors that make this possible. If you are interested in helping us, visit us at make a donation to support our SandCastles program.

group of kids putting their hands together Play
Helping Grieving Kids: SandCastles Year-Round Program
Peer Support Group Meetings are held at seven locations across Metro Detroit for children who have lost a loved one. 

Volunteers Changing Lives

Our program would not be possible without the help of our dedicated volunteers. We cherish the time and talents they share with our families as they provide assistance in numerous ways including as group facilitators, dinner aides, camp helpers, event planners, and grief advocates. Our volunteers are at the heart of the SandCastles mission, helping grieving children and teens to find hope and to heal. Join our community of volunteers and make a difference in the life of a grieving child today by filling out a volunteer application.

SandCastles Services

SandCastles is an open-ended program, with enrollment available throughout the year. An intake is completed with the parent/guardian of each participant prior to participation. Call (313) 771-7005 to schedule an intake appointment.

SandCastles Bi-weekly Support Groups — These bi-weekly groups are offered at multiple locations throughout Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. In-person or virtual groups gather peers close in age to share their grief experiences, learn from each other, and know that they are not alone. SandCastles uses creative expression, games, mindfulness, and physical outlets to promote discussion and healing on the grief journey. Groups meet every other week for all age groups.

SandCastles Family Community — Our Family Community offers additional opportunities to experience family nights, specialty activities, and educational opportunities. Some offerings are virtual while others are in person. Our family community consists of families participating in our ongoing support groups and those who complete an intake and enroll in this opportunity.

SandCastles Camp — SandCastles Camp is a meaningful and fun weekend experience held each August. The experience of Camp offers a healing place in nature to build friendships, learn from others, share experiences, learn coping skills, practice mindfulness, and participate in grief/memorial activities which empowers campers to grow and heal on their grief journey.

Grief Consultation Calls — SandCastles Clinical Staff provides consultation calls for anyone needing support and education on how to assist grieving children, teens, and families. We can answer questions and provide valuable resources as needed.

Community Education — To strengthen and further our mission that no child/family will grieve alone, we can assist individuals and groups (based on staff availability and funding) interested in education on children’s bereavement that fall in line with our mission. Understanding the grief process empowers schools, families and the general public to become advocates for grieving children and teens. Building knowledgeable, healthier and more grief-sensitive communities helps to overcome the barriers these children face.

Why we participate

When I first heard about SandCastles, I was a bit resistant. Not only did I have this huge grief consuming me, I had children to care for and a life to deal with that was moving forward whether I wanted it to or not. But then I realized my children were struggling just as much as I was, and we all needed help finding a path on our grief journey. So, we took that first step and tried a meeting...then two...then three...and before we knew it SandCastles had become an integral part of our lives. The SandCastles community provided a safe place to talk about our grief and be understood. The support and guidance we received helped our family find its identity again and learn to grow in our new form. I do not know where we would be without the SandCastles' support system, we are so grateful that our journey led us to them.
- Megan N.

Learn more about SandCastles

Call (313) 771-7005


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