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  Chat Program
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Families of September 11 is now operating as the For Action Initiative. The web pages on this site are available for informational purposes only. Please visit us at www.foractioninitiative.org.

Chat Program for Teens

Welcome to the Families of September 11th (FOS11) Online Teen Chat Program. FOS11 has offered online chat sessions for its members for the past three years. We are now going to offer the chat program to teens. The Online Teen Chat Program is a professionally led online support group for anyone between the ages of 13 and 18 affected by loss. This is a way to connect with other teens that have experienced loss of family members or friends as a result of September 11th or any other loss before or after that time. The group is a virtual place to talk about what you have gone through or are going through. You can also share how you deal with your feelings and tell others in the group who and what helped you the most! The Online Teen Chat Program is a free, password protected online support group with a professional facilitator/leader. The program is sponsored by the Families of September 11th with funding by the American Red Cross.

Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and noted trauma specialist, facilitates the chats. Designated chat topics reflect requests from members of previous chats, important issues, or current events in the news. Such topics have included resiliency and healing (see a list of previous chat topics below). Chat conversations tend to include the topic, as well as other issues that members are experiencing at the time. Several chat participants have shared their appreciation of the chat program and most return to participate in later chats.

The Online Teen Chat Program

  • Is an internet-based group for online support of its members.
  • Meets at a scheduled time for 60 minutes.
  • Has no more than 8 people participating.
  • Is led by a professional, experienced in online group facilitation, loss and bereavement among young people
You can join The Teen Chat Program now! We recognize that when you join the Online Teen Chat Program (OTCP) via the Internet you want to be sure that everyone in these OTCP is a teen who has been affected by a loss. Therefore, the permission form and enrollment is required to complete before starting OTCP. Please complete only the forms that apply to you.

How it Works: 4 Easy Steps

  1. Read FOS11 action alert emails about upcoming teen chats. One week prior to a chat, an email will go out to the membership with the chat topic and enrollment information.
  2. Enroll for the chat. Using your membership log-in and password, you will be required to create an anonymous chat name and a password. You will receive a confirmation email with directions for signing in for the chat.
  3. Sign-in to participate in the Teen Chat. Following the directions emailed to you, use your chat name and password to log into the chat. Once logged in you will see the chat in progress and can begin to participate immediately.


Other online teen support groups show that the discussions in groups do not become public knowledge. This is because of the honor of the participants and the awareness of that gossip can hurt. There is an unspoken, but well-accepted agreement about this among the participants. However, there are no guarantees of confidentiality from other group members.

Therefore, FOS11 cannot enforce confidentiality among participants. During group sessions, participants share their feelings in order to get feedback and wisdom from each other.

The professional facilitator is obligated to abide by professional standards for confidentiality and never discuss personal issues of participants. However, the group themes will be discussed with professional peers to gain insights that can be brought back to the chat group meeting. We can all benefit from the process of multiple viewpoints and shared experiences.

Upcoming Teen Chats

None scheduled.

Past Teen Chats

FOS11 Teen Chat Session -- Connections -- Oct. 02, 2007
FOS11 Teen Chat Session -- Connections -- Aug. 23, 2007
FOS11 Teen Chat Session -- Connections -- Jul. 24, 2007


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