Cancer affects not just the person diagnosed but also family members and friends. It is estimated that there are currently 2.85 million children younger than 18 years of age living in a household where someone has cancer, and nearly 600,000 of these children are living with a parent who has been diagnosed with cancer within the last two years. These children represent a hidden high-risk group for emotional and social distress, as their problems are often minimized by overwhelmed families, they are seldom seen by the health care team and they are left without many resources.
As part of CSC’s vision that no one faces cancer alone, the Cancer Support Community has developed Kid Support™, an evidence-based program of support and education for children living with cancer in the family. Kid Support is a 10-week support and education program for children ages 4 to 12 and has been successfully implemented at CSC affiliates since 2007. Through participation in Kid Support, children have been able to reduce the stress of cancer in the family by learning communication and relaxation skills, increasing communication around cancer with their family members and gaining age-appropriate knowledge of basic cancer concepts.