Get to know Britt Cowart with Full Circle Grief Center – this week’s ConnectVA User Spotlight!
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Britt Cowart and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Clinical Case Manager at Full Circle Grief Center, a local non-profit who supports grieving families and communities. I have worked with Full Circle as a group facilitator for years and have been on staff as a part-time employee for the last three years. Previously I worked as a School Social Worker and clinically supervised an In-Home Services Program.
What is the focus of your work and the need you are addressing?
The mission of Full Circle is to provide comprehensive, professional support to children, families, and communities. Full Circle was incorporated in September 2008 as a comprehensive grief resource center in the Richmond area to help meet the needs of grieving children (ages 3-18) and their families. Our organization is dedicated to children and families who need long-term, professional support as they work through their grief. We use creative expression to enable children to share their worries, fears, anger, sadness, and many other emotions that come along with experiencing the death of someone significant. Our Center is located in Henrico County, but our Hands On Healing groups serve families throughout Central Virginia. In addition, we offer our counseling groups in inner-city schools and local community organizations.
The Center provides hands on healing for grieving children and their families through counseling services, remembrance programs, and educational support. We believe in the power of the group process, that creative outlets allow individuals to express themselves in a non-threatening and healing manner, that there should be no barriers for those seeking grief support (i.e. all of our services are offered at no expense to families), and customized services are needed for the entire family.
I specifically field and address the general grief inquiries when individuals reach out to us via email or call to seek services for themselves, relatives, friends, and/or clients. I speak with them over the phone to explain our services, assess their initial needs, answer any questions and link them to any additional community resources that they could benefit from. I frequently consult with community professionals, programs, and agencies to educate them on the grief process, to offer grief resources, and to explain Full Circle’s mission and services. I also organize our Creative Connections Workshops, where adults and families spend an evening creating a keepsake to remember and honor their loved one.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I know that we are truly making a difference in the lives of children, families, and adults who are grieving. I am proud that we can offer the support and unique approach that?s needed to comfort and teach positive coping skills at a time often filled with intense sadness, despair, pain, confusion, and anger. I do this work because I witness healing and hope everyday with families. Our Center is honored to play a part in supporting individuals and families through their unique grief journeys.
Tell us about your biggest accomplishment in this position?
My biggest accomplishments in this position come in ways that may appear as small successes and rewards i.e. a smile, relief to have found support services and be able to share their story, to discover other available community resources that they didn’t know existed, to uncover a place of acceptance and comfort for their children, and to learn our services are free. As I listen and join with families on their grief journeys, I have accomplished what I set out to do as a Full Circle employee.
I provide supportive resources which may offer hope and comfort along their journey and help facilitate meeting other individuals like themselves who are also grieving and can understand. Full Circle is a place of hope where people are allowed to miss their loved ones, encouraged to celebrate their lives, and honor their own grief by being open and honest.
What’s coming next for your organization that really excites you?
In addition to providing Hands on Healing Family Grief Groups, Creative Connections and School Groups, we also offer support groups for Perinatal Loss, Suicide Loss, and a Children?s Homicide Support Group. We recently were awarded a $100,000 gift from an anonymous donor for our Perinatal Loss Program. We look forward to growing this piece of our programming over the next few years as we offer more support groups and educational and professional opportunities for our community on this subject. On Monday, February 25th we will co-host the 2015 Grief Summit RVA. It’s a professional and community conference exploring grief and the effects it has on our lives. We also host our annual Full Circle Round-Up a day of family fun as we raise funds for our organization. This is open to everyone in our community. Please check out our website as we consistently make updates which reflect current and upcoming groups, special events, and programs.
How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?
In addition to sharing information about our events and groups, we post available job openings, learn about initiatives of other nonprofit organizations, and stay connected. We appreciate the incredible wealth of information that is easily accessed on the site to benefit nonprofits like ourselves.
Anything else you would like to share?
We are always looking for valuable volunteers who want to support and spread the news about our services and mission. To register to volunteer, to learn more about what we do, and to find ways to support our mission at Full Circle, please visit www.fullcirclegc.org.