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Teen and Family Support Service

The Teen and Family Support Service (TFSS) provides services to patients and their families through the continuum of their medical needs from diagnosis to survivorship. We provide systematic evaluation, consultation, and an array of intervention modalities and strategies supported by research. We work closely with the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Service to provide the best multidisciplinary care and address important medical needs, such as fertility preservation, for individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 13-21 years. Our aim is to foster positive adaptation, build resilience, and empower adolescents, young adults, and their families while going through and after their treatment. Our service also incorporates research in psychosocial oncology and multicultural considerations to tailor our interventions to the unique characteristics of the population we serve in Los Angeles.

Our service is free of cost for participants and generously supported through philanthropy. The Teen and Family Support Service is part of the HOPE Behavioral Health, Neuropsychology and Education Service, under the Survivorship and Supportive Care Program.

Services offered:

Behavioral Health Services

Behavioral health services specific for Adolescent and Young Adults (AYA) ages 13-up:

  • Systematic behavioral health assessment and triage at diagnosis and at other crucial times during treatment.
    • Multidisciplinary coordination of care in conjunction with our AYA Oncology Service providers to consult and refer to providers as needed (psychiatry, palliative care, social work, child life specialists, art therapy, educational services, chaplaincy, dog therapy, etc.).
    • Linkage to additional services under our HOPE Behavioral Health, Neuropsychology and Education Service, such as psychology services at CHLA, School Transition and Re-entry service (STAR), and to behavioral health services in the community.
  • The Hang Out is a brief support group intervention focused on coping and social skills for adolescents and young adults. This social-support group runs for 6 weeks every three months.
  • Newly diagnosed classes: Classes to help those newly diagnosed with cancer cope with common physical and emotional side effects of a cancer diagnosis, such as hair loss, changes in body image, fatigue, and sleep difficulties.

Psychosocial Services

At a time when becoming more independent, exploring, and trying new things are crucial, having a serious medical diagnosis and treatment can hinder the development of skills needed for building a future and managing the present. We have two specific series dedicated to important skills needed at this developmental stage. These workshops run every three months alternatively and include separate and parallel activities for parents/caregivers.

  • Life Skills Series: Workshops covering a wide range of areas and tools to empower, inform, and encourage AYAs to take initiative, explore opportunities, and have control over their life choices. We particularly focus on accessing tools and developing skills for the following areas: Vocational and educational exploration, accessing community resources, job readiness, and life post high school. Our life skills events have a mini-conference format, where AYAs engage in hands-on activities, lectures, and exercises while relating to others like them.
  • Wellness Series: These activities focus on essential and crucial personal and social skills to improve overall sense of self and interpersonal interactions. Our wellness skills series is framed within a fun and creative environment. We work on skills development through the use of expressive arts, such as music, acting, visual art, and/or dance and movement.
  • AYA Annual Retreat: We provide a three day retreat for AYAs in the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains. This experience provides AYAs the opportunity to get away from everything and be independent while they are safe and cared for by medical personnel. They get to have fun, relax, and connect with others with similar experiences to them. This is one of our most popular activities!
  • Special Events: We have periodic guest speakers and invitations for special fun events where AYAs have opportunities to connect with each other.

Fertility Assessment and Preservation

Our Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Service works closely with our TFSS service to provide fertility assessment and preservation. The medications and other therapies required to treat cancer can affect the ability to have children, also called fertility, later in life.

The best time to discuss these effects is before treatment begins. Our AYA service is available to discuss how your treatment can affect your fertility and if anything should be done prior to starting treatment to preserve your fertility. We have a developed a multi-disciplinary team including oncologists, endocrinologists, gynecologists, and urologists to help you understand your options.  

Male Fertility Partner: Dr. Mary Samplaski

Female Fertility Partner: USC Fertility

Sperm Banking Partner: USC Fertility

Services for Parents

Behavioral Health Services are available for parents of children all ages and with any hematology or oncology diagnosis. We are here to help parents and caregivers communicate their concerns to the health care team, support their child or adolescent, and take care of themselves and the rest of their family.

  • Parent/Caregiver Support: Bi-weekly support group available for parents/caregivers of patients all ages on our inpatient floor for both inpatient and outpatient families.
    • Behavioral Health Education: Common topics for parents include managing emotions, behavioral difficulties, working with medical teams, adjusting to diagnosis and treatment, return to school, parenting strategies, siblings concerns, and managing stress.
    • Resources: We provide psychoeducational and information resources and link families to agencies and behavioral health resources in the community.


Various Oncology Support

Stupid Cancer
An organization that addresses young adult cancer through advocacy, research, outreach, mobile health, social media, and more. Provides abundant links to organizations that offer the best direct support services for young adults ages 16-39, such as financial assistance, coping literature, online communities, retreats and excursions, and much more.

13thirty Cancer Connect
An online site where teens and young adults ages 15-40 can connect with others who understand what they are going through. This site offers helpful information about how to deal with your diagnosis and treatment, from talking about hair loss and body issues to central lines and chemotherapy.

Critical Mass: Young Adult Alliance
A community powered advocacy organization that serves adolescents and young adults aged 15-29 with cancer. This website allows you to browse through studies and research related to AYA cancer. It also offers a tool that finds programs specific to AYA cancer in areas around you. These programs can be related to food, health, housing, job training, etc.

Imerman Angels
A website that offers one-on-one support for cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers. Through their unique matching process, this resource partners individuals seeking cancer support with a "mentor angel." A Mentor Angel is a cancer survivor or caregiver who has faced the same type of cancer.

Various Hematology Support

Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California
Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California offers a variety of resources, services, and programs for families and individuals living with hemophilia or other bleeding disorders in Southern California.

National Hemophilia Foundation
The National Hemophilia Foundation offers information about resources, advocacy and health coverage, research, and educational programs for individuals and families living with hemophilia.

Foundation for Women and Girls with Bleeding Disorders
The Foundation for Women and Girls with Bleeding Disorders offers a variety of information about the treatment and management of blood disorders. It provides a comprehensive list of resources for women and adolescent girls with blood disorders.

National Blood Clot Alliance
The National Blood Clot Alliance is focused on building awareness and building community among people who are affected by blood clots or at increased risk for blood clots, including people with clotting disorders and cancer. It offers an online, peer-to-peer support commuinity that provides a safe and supportive space to share information and interact with others who share the same experience.

Hair Loss

American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society wig program provides free wigs for those going through cancer treatment. You are able to receive 1 wig every 12 months during treatment. Appointments are required for wig fittings. For more information, call 1-800-850-9445. Offices are all over California – Long Beach, Culver City, Pasadena, etc.

Para información en Español visite: https://www.cancer.org/es/

Locks of Love
Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to children suffering hair loss from a medical diagnosis. Hairpieces are free of charge, and are offered for those who are financially disadvantaged. All hairpieces are donated and custom-made. 

Children with Hair Loss
Children With Hair Loss is a non-profit organization that provides free hairpieces to children and teens that are facing hair loss due to a medical diagnosis. Up until age 21, you are able to receive a new hair replacement once a year.

Wigs for Kids
Wigs for Kids is an organization that provides hairpieces for children and teens up to age 18 that have experienced hair loss from a medical condition. Hairpieces are free of charge.

Support In Your Community

Cancer Support Community
An organization that provides services helping anyone affected by cancer. Offers a cancer support hotline, live web chat, online communities where you can talk to others going through similar experiences, and support groups. Also offers resources and information about specific types of cancer and living with cancer.

Financial Support

David Andrew 'Pooh' Maddan Foundation
This organization provides financial grants to assist young adults ages 18-35 undergoing cancer treatment. These grants can help young adults with bills, housing, food, transportation, etc.

The Samfund
An organization that provides support to young adults ages 21-39 who are struggling financially because of cancer. The SamFund offers direct financial assistance through grants and toolkits and free online support and education, which helps young adults survive and move forward with their lives after cancer.

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults
This organization offers scholarships for young adults (ages 15-39), in order to continue their education after cancer. It offers one-on-one support and help through telephone and email communication for families across the country. It also provides other resources.


Cancer Legal Resource Center
This resource center provides cancer-related legal information and resources. Provides a telephone assistance line, outreach programs, and community activities about accessing healthcare, government benefits, and employment options during your cancer treatment.

Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles
This organization provides free legal representation, and advocacy services to residents of Los Angeles, including low income residents and underrepresented groups.

Recreational Opportunities/Camps

Camp Ronald McDonald
Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times creates a positive long-lasting impact on children with cancer and their families by providing fun-filled, medically supervised, cost-free, year-round camp programs.

Camp Crescent Moon
Camp Crescent Moon is a week-long sleep away camp experience for children with sicke cell disease ages 7-14. 

The Painted Turtle
The Painted Turtle provides a year-round, life-changing environment for children with life-threatening diseases and their families. This medically supervised and cost-free camp offers sessions based on disease type.

Camp Mak-A-Dream
Camp Mak-A-Dream offers medically supervised, free camping programs in Montana for teens, young adults, and kids with cancer and their siblings.

First descents
First Descents provides whitewater kayaking and other outdoor adventure experiences to promote emotional, psychological and physical healing for young adults with cancer.

Career/Educational Exploration

My Next Move | Mi Próximo Paso
My Next Move (Mi Próximo Paso) is a website that helps with the questions: what do you want to do for a living? It allows you to search careers with key words, brows careers by industry, or answer questions about your interests and see what careers they suggest.

CA Career Zone
CA Career Zone is a web-based career exploration system providing four easy to use career assessment tools and information on over 900 California occupations. It is part of the California Career Resource Network (CalCRN) program in the California Department of Education, which provides career development information and resources to support skills necessary for success.

I Built It! Power to Your Future
I Built It! Power to Your Future is sponsored by the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards. This website gives information about apprenticeships, such as what an apprenticeship is, how much you get paid, and types of apprenticheships. The site has a feature that allows you to search available apprenticeship programs near you. You can pick from a wide array of options, including culinary, carpentry, civil service, cosmetology, information technology, etc.

Cancer and Careers
Cancer and Careers is a useful tool for those who are either on or off treatment for cancer. This site helps educate you about cancer and the workforce and offers advice, interactive tools, and educational events. It offers helpful tips on interviews, resumes, and networking and also offers legal and financial information. 

Career One Stop
Career One Stop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is a web-based career exploration tool that contains resources for finding a career, training, or jobs. It has information specific to certain populations, such as young adults or workers with disabilities. It provides informational videos that show what specific jobs look like.

Support our program!

If you are interested in supporting the TFSS, please visit the donation page and be sure to click on the check box "Specify a program for this gift to support" and type in our program name, "Teen and Family Support Service".

Donate here!