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About the Highmark Caring Place

The Highmark Caring Place, A Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families, is a safe place where grieving children and families can come together and be with others who understand what they’re going through.

An essential community resource, the Caring Place offers services at no charge to grieving families from throughout the community.

Core Purpose: To make a difference in the lives of grieving children

The Caring Place program began in 1996, with the first facility opening its doors in Pittsburgh in 1997. Other facilities followed in Erie, Harrisburg and Warrendale, Pa. Across the facilities, the program has served tens of thousands of family and community members.

The Highmark Caring Place provides peer support, where the children who attend come to know that they are not alone in their experiences and feelings. They and their families get support and encouragement from each other, facilitated by trained adult volunteers.

In addition to these peer support groups, the Caring Place provides educational programs, consultation services, presentations and resources for schools and other professionals in the community who work with children. The Caring Place continually works to raise awareness of the needs of grieving children and how to respond to those needs.


Because the death of a family member is devastating in the life of a child,
turning the child's whole world upside-down,
and becoming the defining moment of the child's life...

And because caring, understanding and support
from those around the grieving child
can make an important difference
in how that child copes with the impact of a death...


It is the mission of the Highmark Caring Place:

  • To raise awareness of the needs of grieving children
  • To provide programs to address those needs
  • To equip the community to support those children who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Core Values

The core values of the Highmark Caring Place reflect the heart of our organization and the people within it.

Our core values guide:

  • Our interactions
  • The development and evaluation of our programs and staff
  • Our strategic planning

Relationship: We believe that we are stronger together than alone.
We place a high value on people and relationships, and approach all relationships with a responsiveness that embodies caring, compassion and concern.

Respect: We believe in the intrinsic value of all human beings.
We will approach all people and situations with minds and hearts open to difference, and act in a manner that preserves the dignity of others.

Quality: We believe in excellence.
We are committed to providing innovative programs based upon sound theoretical models that incorporate best practices.

Integrity: We believe that how we act and interact is as important as what we achieve.
We act and make decisions based on the highest ethical standards and we are committed to ensuring consistency between what we say and what we do.