What is Rainbows?
Rainbows™ is an internationally acclaimed peer-support program offered 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.
Find a Rainbows program near you!
Rainbows runs in a variety of community based settings like churches, schools or community agencies. We always recommend that you first check with your school to see if they are a registered site and running programs that will work for your child. Otherwise, please check through this map for a Rainbows program near you. Clicking on the pin will allow you to directly contact the site to learn more and register.
Indicates program open to students only. Indicates program open to the public.
Facilitator Training and Site Licensing
Starfish Family Resources provides training workshops for Rainbows Facilitators and Coordinators for Alberta program sites several times per year. Workshops are facilitated by our certified Rainbows Registered Directors.