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Outstanding Woman – Toni Griffith, MSA, MSW, LCSW, BCD, CT


Grief Therapist and Facilitator Toni Griffith has devoted her life to helping children handle grief. She is founder and CEO of Continuing Support Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that began in 1995 to help grieving children deal with their losses.

Through the use of expressive arts, songs and music, puppetry, workbooks and workshops, the organization creates a safe space in classrooms, churches, and communities to talk about loss, which enables children to begin to understand that loss happens to everyone. In this environment, children learn that sharing makes grief more manageable; that worthy memories can lessen the pangs of separation and help them remember the important times. They begin to realize that there is meaning in both life and death and that love never really dies.

Continuing Support Services works with families and children from three years old into adulthood. Specific programs focus on high school and middle school (“Lunch Bunch” grief support groups) and elementary school students as well as children of divorce and children whose parents are incarcerated. Her husband, Michael Pitale, who is also a certified grief facilitator, assists her with puppet presentations on grief and loss, HIV and Aids education, and divorce.

In addition to her work with Continuing Support Services, Toni, a licensed clinical social worker, has a private practice in loss, trauma, grief, and life transitions in Mt. Holly. When she is not seeing individual patients or working with groups, she serves as a consultant for counseling with a program for semi-independent adults with developmental disabilities.

Toni has been honored for her assistance following the Twin Towers attack of 9/11, and has received the National Heart of Hospice Award, and the Litman Award for community service. She is an author and lecturer on grief issues and also works with pet loss facilitation.

 

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