How We Help

If your child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, your whole world has just been turned upside down. Friends of Karen can help guide you through the maze of paperwork, provide an emotional foundation, advocate on your behalf, and give you the tools to cope with the extraordinary demands of dealing day-by-day with your child's -- and your family's -- crisis.

Are You Eligible?

Each family’s needs are assessed by a Friends of Karen social worker. Assistance is available to those families who have a child meeting the following qualifications:

  • Through the age of 21 and has been diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening illness.
  • United States citizen or a legal resident of the United States. Appropriate documentation may be required by Friends of Karen at the time of application.
  • Lives in:
    • New York City: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island 
    • Long Island counties: Suffolk or Nassau 
    • New York counties: Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster or Westchester  
    • New Jersey counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic or Union 
    • Connecticut counties: Fairfield,New Haven or Middlesex

Family Support Program

Our social workers assess each family’s needs and provide:

  • Support from a social worker through home and hospital visits.
  • Emotional support to help you anticipate and manage the changes that can occur in the family.
  • Sibling support from a child life specialist and arts therapist.
  • Advocacy for your family with insurance providers and other agencies.
  • Education about and assistance with applying for government programs as well as for other national and community-based resources.
  • Coordination with hospital staff to address any additional needs of your family.
  • Birthday, holiday, and back-to-school gift programs for all the children in the family.

Financial Assistance

  • Families who demonstrate financial need as a result of their child's illness may be eligible for financial assistance from Friends of Karen.
  • Types of assistance we may be able to provide include childcare reimbursement, travel reimbursement, hospital lodging, co-payments for illness-related items, and household expenses.

What Do You Need To Do?

You, as a parent or guardian, must call Friends of Karen and speak to a Family Support Program staff member at (212) 308-1378 ext. 3.

Para hablar en español, llama (212) 308-1378 extención 1.