Friends of Karen’s experience has proven that families can remain stable and functioning even while caring for a child with a life-threatening illness. 
We carefully match each of our families with one of our experienced social workers, who ensures that they get the emotional support, financial assistance and practical guidance they need to cope during a crisis that affects every member of the family. We provide concrete interventions while recognizing that each family is different and needs personalized assistance.
Friends of Karen is a program that exemplifies the current standards of psychosocial care for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Our Family Support Program includes:
  • Individualized support for each family member from a team of skilled professionals, including social workers, child life specialists, and creative arts therapists to prepare them for and guide them through each challenge while their child is in treatment.
  • Assistance with a wide range of issues that can overwhelm a family, such as insurance billing, changed family dynamics, and special educational needs.
  • Connecting families to other organizations and government programs to ensure they receive all available care and help for which they qualify.
  • Child life specialists to help the ill child’s sisters and brothers cope better with the changes in their family’s life.
  • End-of-life and bereavement support for parents and siblings.
  • Financial assistance to ease the enormous costs of a devastating diagnosis, which can include:
    • Travel costs to and from treatments and hospitals
    • Childcare expenses to provide consistency of care for siblings when parents must be with their ill child
    • Basic living expenses when there is loss of income from work disruptions directly resulting from a child’s illness
    • Gift cards and support to purchase food
    • Medical expenses not covered by insurance 
  • Our gift program ensures that all children in the family celebrate milestones like birthdays, holidays and back-to-school.
The majority of our services are provided during home visits, which enhance trust, minimize barriers to care, and maximize the availability of services.