Rainbows Facilitator Portal
Rainbows™ is an internationally acclaimed peer-support program offered by a variety of community agencies free of charge to children and families, to help them cope with grief due to divorce, separation, death or abandonment. Rainbows™ promotes emotional healing by giving participants the opportunity to share their feelings and grieve their loss within a safe, caring setting, with peers who are experiencing a similar transition. The program, started by Suzy Yehl-Marta in 1983, has helped millions of children in 18 countries.
Starfish Family Resources and Rainbows™
Starfish Family Resources supports Rainbows™ in northern and Central Alberta, by partnering with 70 sites in 30 communities. SFR helps new Rainbows™ sites to start up, as well as provides ongoing support, which includes training coordinators and facilitators. Our partners provide Rainbows™ to over 1,000 children every year, in schools, churches and other agencies. Please call us for program availability or details, or if you would like to bring Rainbows™ to your community; we will be glad to help you set it up.
The Rainbows™ Programs
When a change takes place in the family, whether it is death, divorce, separation or abandonment, it has a profound effect on all its members. Grief is both an expression of love, and a normal human reaction to a significant loss. If it isn’t healed at the appropriate time, its impact can be destructive.
The aim of Rainbows™ is to assist these grieving children, adolescents and adults to develop a belief in their own goodness and the value of their family. It teaches that each change in life is an occasion for a new beginning. The goal of the support group, which is led by trained volunteers, is to assist participants in expressing and understanding their feelings, accepting what has happened, and experiencing a sense of belonging and love.
Evaluations received from Rainbows™ participants and parents have shown a 53% increase in the children’s self-esteem, a positive correlation with academic achievement and a 75% decrease in absenteeism from school.
Rainbows™ includes several programs to meet the
needs of various age groups.
The four currently offered in Alberta are:
13 week or 10 week program for pre-schoolers
13 week or 10 week program for elementary-age children
13 week or 10 week program for adolescents
13 week or 10 week program for single parents and step-parents
Note: It is recommended that parents and children take Rainbows and Prism concurrently, when available.
Each of the programs cover the
same twelve core topics:
– Transitions and Changes
– Angers and Hurts
– Fears and Worries
– Coping Tools
– Reaching Out
Facilitator Training and Site Licensing
Starfish Family Resources provides training workshops for Rainbows™ Facilitators and Coordinators for central and northern Alberta program sites several times per year, through our certified Rainbows™ Registered Directors. We support agencies in the set up and maintenance of licensed Rainbows™ sites all throughout the province of Alberta.
The 8 hour Facilitator workshop covers Rainbows™ program components and resources for groups ranging from preschoolers to adults, as well as:
- Personal work on understanding grief
- Facilitation skills and helping children to express their feelings
- Active listening skills
- Difficult behaviours
- Confidentiality and disclosures
- Facilitator training also includes hands–on sessions in small groups
NOTE: Facilitator training is open only to individuals who will be facilitating Rainbows™ groups within a licensed site. For more information on how to become a licensed site, please contact us.
Coordinator training (1.5-2 hours) covers Coordinator responsibilities, which include organizing the groups, program promotion, Facilitator recruitment and mentoring, ordering materials, funding needs, record keeping, etc. Each Rainbows™ Site needs a trained Coordinator, who is also one of the Facilitators.
Site Licensing involves the initial set up and training of a new community site to run Rainbows™ programs. Cost includes training for up to 6 facilitators per site, the first order of applicable rainbows materials and support from our team of Registered Directors. Costs are dependant on level of Rainbows™ program and/or training requirements. For more information, please contact us.