The Victim & Witness Services Unit also includes the Family Bereavement Center (FBC) – the only bereavement center in the state with a full-time staff to serve survivors of homicide. Since opening its doors in 1990, the Center has served over 12,000 survivors of homicide victims in Baltimore City and offered 5,512 counseling sessions since 2015. In addition to providing individual counseling, the FBC also hosts a bi-weekly support group and a workshop series focused on creative coping skills such as meditation and creative writing.
FBC’s target population is family members of individuals murdered in Baltimore City. Losing a loved one is one of the most distressing and emotional experiences in one’s life. The Family Bereavement Center is here to assist those who have lost loved ones with their grief journey. Over the past two years, the FBC has doubled in size from two therapists and an advocate in 2014 to six full-time staff. Today, survivors of homicide are served by three dedicated therapists, two bereavement advocates and one bilingual bereavement advocate. Individuals interested in services through the FBC can call to schedule an appointment. FBC offers the following assistance to those coping with grief:
FBC is staffed by three licensed clinical social workers who provide the following services:
- Individual counseling sessions
- Family counseling, including school-aged children
- Bi-weekly group counseling
(Survivors must meet individually with a therapist prior to participating in the support group.)
FBC clients are provided with a Victim Advocate who will provide the following:
- Court support
- Court escort to legal proceedings
- Assistance to survivors applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for compensation in the aftermath of criminal victimization
- Case information and custody status of the defendant, including Crime Victim Notification Request and Demand for Rights Form and Victims Information and Notification Everyday (VINE)
Family Bereavement Newsletter
FBC publishes a quarterly newsletter to keep homicide survivors informed of support groups, events, and services provided by the BCSAO and community partners. The FBC also honors those lost to homicide in Baltimore City and offers clinical recommendations and advice to assist those coping with grief.