Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
COVID-19 SERVICE IMPACT NOTICE: With the goal of serving the grieving in our community while prioritizing the health and safety of clients, volunteers, and staff, Kara currently offers telehealth grief support services (phone or video meetings). Inquiries from individuals, families, and organizations should be submitted through this contact form or by calling us at 650-321-5272
In addition, we are currently experiencing an unprecedented increase in requests for service. Service options may be limited or unavailable at this time. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to meet the needs of the bereaved in our community.
Listed below are some answers to frequently asked questions. Kara is a self-referral organization. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to connect you to the services that meet your unique needs.
Professional referrals are welcome. Please review our Professional Referral Guidelines
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Kara services offer emotional support and information to those grieving a death or coping with a terminal illness. Kara provides grief support services in the areas of:
- 1:1 Peer Support – Individual support for adults provided by trained volunteers
- Peer Support Groups – Support for adults, children, and teens
- Community Outreach & Education –On-site crisis response services after a death and grief education training and workshops for schools and organizations.
- Grief-Related Therapy – Fee based therapy for those whose loss is complicated by additional circumstances
- Camp Kara – Overnight grief camp for youth ages 6 – 17, typically held in July
Services are provided in English and Spanish.
Clients are typically seen by appointment. We do not offer individual drop-in appointments at this time. Drop- In Groups are always available and do not require an initial interview.
Kara peer support services are provided by volunteers and staff with experience in healing from their own personal loss. Volunteers are carefully screened, trained and supervised by our professional staff.
Grief therapy services are provided by interns who have completed their course requirements and are working on their client hours for professional therapist licensing.
Our psychotherapy program is offered to bereaved adults, teens, children, couples and families whose loss is complicated by higher degrees of trauma, and/or additional relational or emotional circumstances. Our Director of Clinical Services and Clinical Supervisor of the Associates and Trainees in the Kara Therapy Program received her Marriage and Family Therapy License and her Doctorate of Counseling in 1989. Our program staff will be able to discuss this option with you. These services are fee based.
You can request services one of two ways:
- By visiting our website anytime of the day, you can click on Contact Us, located on each webpage. Simply fill out the form and hit the submit button. One of our program staff will get back to you typically within two business days.
- If you prefer to speak to someone, you can contact our office during business hours. Call Us 650-321-5272. Our office hours are: Monday - Thursday 9am to 4pm & Friday 9am to 1pm (Pacific Time)
During your initial phone call, you will be asked for some basic information about you and your situation. That information will then be passed on to one of Kara's program staff who will call you back. One of our program staff will get back to you typically within two business days.
Once a program staff member gets back to you, they will be able to talk with you in more detail to assess your individual needs and preferences. Sometimes a phone consultation is all that a client needs. If a client would like additional support from Kara, we schedule an in-person initial interview to determine appropriate services.
The initial interview generally takes about one hour. The purpose is to determine what specific service will best serve your needs, whether that is one-to-one peer counseling, a specialized grief group, a drop-in group, grief-related psychotherapy, referral to an outside agency or therapist, or some combination of these options. Drop- In Groups are always available and do not require an initial interview.
Services are provided at Kara which is located at 457 Kingsley Avenue in Palo Alto, as well as limited services in our meeting location on 3rd Avenue in San Mateo.
Services for children and families may be provided at our Kingsley location and/or our offsite location located in Palo Alto. On occasion, arrangements can be made to meet off-site for counseling services.
For those requesting services outside of the San Mateo/Santa Clara County area, we recommend you contact our office during business hours for additional referrals.
Camp Kara is a free, weekend grief camp designed for children ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend. Our 3 days and 2 nights at camp are filled with traditional fun camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support—facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers.
Parents of potential campers interested in sending a child to camp will be required to fill out an application form containing personal, bereavement and medical information. Because we want to ensure the best possible experience for every Camp Kara participant, each application will be reviewed in detail, and families must attend one of the scheduled group interview times. This will help us understand your child's particular situation, and understand what his/her needs at camp might be. Space is limited and camp availability is determined by the ages of campers.
Volunteers interested in serving as a camp counselor (or any special job working with the kids) must go through the required volunteer grief support training at Kara. They would need to submit a training application in the late winter/early spring and, if selected, attend all the spring training dates. The training dates and application are usually posted by late January.
View our Camp Kara page on this site.
Kara is always looking for volunteers who would like to learn how to support others through the grief process. Our program volunteer training is typically held each spring (early March). Dates and the application process is posted on our website in January.
Office and event volunteers are also always needed. You can call us at 650-321-5272 to find out how you can be of support. These volunteer positions do not require the training sessions that our grief support volunteers go through.
If you are interested in an unpaid internship with Kara, you can contact us by phone or internet and provide us with your contact information. We will forward your contact information to our Director of Clinical Services and Clinical Supervisor.
Kara accepts cash, check, credit card, bequests, vehicles, and transfer of securities donations. Our Federal Tax ID #: 942431483
You can make a financial donation to Kara by:
- Mail....send your check to Kara, 457 Kingsley Avenue, Palo Alto CA 94301
- Internet.... by giving through our secure online site by clicking on the DONATE NOW button.
- Phone....contact our office to charge a donation to your credit card or inquire about a bequest, vehicle, or transfer of securities donation. We can be reached at 650-321-5272.
- If your company has a matching gift program, you can specify your donation be sent to Kara.
- If you are interested in legacy planning or bequests, please contact our Executive Director.
Kara offers the following grief specific services to corporations/organizations when a death impacts the workplace/organization:
- Kara provides on-site crisis response management team to facilitate individual and/or group counseling support, depending on the specific situation and demands of the organization's culture.
- Kara offers expert consulting services to management to construct performance outcomes and implement strategies for specific work groups, departments, teams, and employees impacted by the death of a co-worker.
- Kara trainers provide both high-level overviews to executives and HRBPs, as well as comprehensive training programs for managers and supervisors on how to notify employees after a death in the company, talk/listen to bereaved co-workers, and manage employees in the early stages of grief.