1. TCF offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents.
We have learned that the death of our child has caused a pain that can best be understood fully by another bereaved parent.
Knowing that all need love and support, we reach out as our own grief subsides to those who still feel alone and abandoned.
2. TCF believes that bereaved parents can help each other toward a positive resolution of their grief.
We understand that each parent must find his or her own way through grief.
We know that expressing thoughts and feelings is part of the healing process. We offer an opportunity for sharing and learning from other bereaved parents.
We do not offer professional psychotherapy or counseling.
We seek the cooperation and the support of the professional community but do not depend on it for supervision or formal guidance.
We welcome the opportunity to share with the professional community what we have learned about the needs of bereaved parents.
3. TCF reaches out to all bereaved parents across barriers of religion, race, income or ethnic group.
We espouse no specific religious or philosophical ideology.
We support our activities through voluntary contributions and assess no dues or fees.
We do not participate in legislative or political controversy.
We express our individual views on controversial subjects with respect and consideration for those who may disagree with us.
4. TCF understands that every bereaved parent has individual needs and rights.
We never suggest that there is a correct way to grieve or that there is a preferred solution to the emotional and spiritual dilemmas raised by the death of our children.
Everyone deserves an opportunity to be heard.
No one is compelled to speak.
All have the responsibility to listen.
5. TCF helps bereaved parents primarily through local chapters.
We have established local chapters to provide sharing groups that create an atmosphere of openness and honesty.
We believe that local chapters should be autonomous in all matters except those affecting other chapters or the organization as a whole.
We believe that chapters succeed most frequently if there are three or more founders, at least two of whom are a year or more from their loss and including at least one father and one mother.
6. TCF chapters belong to their members.
We treat what is said at meetings as confidential and what we learn about each other as privileged information.
We recommend that attendance at meetings by the media, by students, or by other observers be permitted only with prior announcements and with the consent of the chapter members.
We realize that some time must be spent on organizational problems and financial matters but we prefer to keep this to a minimum and out of the regularly scheduled TCF meetings.
7. TCF chapters are coordinated nationally to extend help to each other and to individual bereaved parents everywhere.
We maintain a national office to serve us by assisting in the development of new chapters, by offering support and consultation to existing chapters, and by responding to bereaved parents where there is no local chapter.
We have learned that it is often easier and more effective to provide program material and educational services by working together at the national or regional level than to work alone.
We seek opportunities to share with society the insights our grief has brought us that future bereaved parents may receive needed understanding and support.
We encourage other family members, especially siblings, to share in our task of mutual support.
We acknowledge our responsibility to support our local and national goals by contributing what we can of our time, our talent, and our resources.
— FOR BEREAVED SIBLINGS —
1. TCF recognizes that siblings are an integral part of the family unit.
Their recovery is critical to the health of the total unit; and, therefore, TCF is committed to the involvement of siblings.
2. TCF offers friendship and understanding to bereaved siblings.
We are learning that the death of our brother or sister causes pain that other bereaved siblings understand best. Knowing that everybody needs love and support, we reach out to those who still feel alone and abandoned.
Attendance at meetings by those other than bereaved siblings is allowed only with prior consent of all group members.
3. TCF believes bereaved siblings can help each other toward a positive resolution of their grief.
We offer support as each bereaved sibling finds his or her own way through grief.
We know that expressing thoughts and feelings is part of the healing process. We offer an opportunity for sharing with, and learning from other bereaved siblings.
Everyone deserves an opportunity to share; however no one is compelled to speak. We have the responsibility to listen.
4. TCF reaches out to all bereaved siblings regardless of religion, race, economic class, or ethnic group.
We express our individual views with respect and consideration for those who may disagree with us.
5. TCF understands that all sibling members have individual needs and rights.
We recognize that there is more than one way to grieve and that bereaved siblings and bereaved parents may grieve in different ways and on differing timelines.
We know that these differing grief styles can cause additional stress and conflict in an already disabled family.
We remain nonjudgmental about individual needs and grief styles. We understand the emotional and spiritual dilemmas raised by the death of a sibling.
6. TCF recognizes that the term “bereaved sibling” encompasses all age groups.
We understand that the death of a brother or sister affects not only children but adult siblings as well.
We show sensitivity to all siblings regardless of age.