Family Connections


Contact Family Connections


A cancer diagnosis is difficult enough for most people; for many parents, the news brings an extra set of concerns. How do you explain the situation to your children? What if they have questions you can't answer? How do you cope with their fears about your well-being?

Our Mission

Family Connections, part of the Adult Social Work division of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, is dedicated to supporting adult cancer patients who are parents and their children. Our mission is to offer guidance, information, and resources to those who are dealing with cancer in their family, and to identify and respond to the needs of parents and children by supporting, supplementing, and empowering family coping.

For the patient

For the family

For survivors

The program was made possible in part by a generous gift from the Frieze family. Online resources are available thanks to a gift in memory of Deborah Rosoff, a Dana-Farber patient, made by her family and friends.

To contact the Family Connections Program, please email or call 617-632-2605.

Read our Insight blog for information and inspiration about Family Connections at Dana-Farber.

Navigating Cancer Together

Geared to school age children who are being raised by a family member with cancer, this video explains what cancer is, changes that children may notice, normal emotions they may experience, and some coping skills that may help. We suggest you watch this video as a family. We hope it helps spark conversations around changes that your own family may be experiencing from cancer.

You're Not Alone: Being a teen when a parent has cancer

In this video, Laura and Abby share how their parents’ illnesses impacted their lives – what they experienced, and ways they found support.

Additional Information for Families

Debby's Gift

During Debby Rosoff's battle with breast cancer, she and her husband searched for resources to guide them and their young children through this difficult time. After Debby died, her family created Family Connections in her memory.