Angie Koeneker, MS, CCLS,
has worked within the field for more than 15 years. Recently, she went beyond the traditional hospital route and started serving children at a funeral home in New Jersey. Angie secured the opportunity by developing a plan to change the way children experience funerals and conducting outreach to funeral directors across northern New Jersey. Her plan caught the eye of Izabela Van Tassel, owner of The Van Tassel Funeral Home in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Together, Angie and Izabela organized a formal preparation program for children and families. Programming includes a book to help explain funerals to children, a guided tour, and therapeutic activities. A room was also designated for children to take breaks and utilize play to help them process the funeral experience. According to Angie, "Each funeral or visitation is unique, as is our approach with each child and family." Angie's services have been met with widespread praise, and have benefited a number of children ages 3 to 18. Read Angie's article about her impact as a child life professional within the funeral home setting: http://www.childlife.org/docs/default-source/membership/kids-say-goodbye.pdf
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