Bereaved children – information for parents
Whether sudden or expected, few life events have a greater impact on children and their families than the death of a family member or close friend. Children’s grief is often an emotional rollercoaster. Every family makes sense of and copes with grief in their own way.
However there are some important elements to remember:
- Grief is normal, is not an illness or something to simply ‘get over’
- Children are affected by bereavement in different ways, some may be sad or withdrawn, others may be angry or challenging, or may not show any signs
- Grief is an ongoing process which children and young people revisit as they grow up
- Children need the help of supportive adults to learn to live with the death of a loved one
Given the right support and information children and young people can be helped to understand what has happened and adapt to a life without their loved one. It is important to ensure that all bereaved families have the support they need when they feel the time is right.
There are various forms of support available including:
- Information and education to ensure children and their families understand death and what it means to them
- Support to empower families/carers to access information to meet their individual needs
- Educational settings can offer some support to children and young people and ensure that their specific needs are met within the learning environment
- Help for families to find ways of remembering the person that has died
- Encouragement for families to talk openly about their loss and grief and their memories
- Opportunities to meet other children and families with similar experiences
- Access to specialist support services when needed
Helping you to support bereaved children and young people is an information leaflet for anyone supporting bereaved children and young people.
You can speak to your child’s school if you need to access additional support for them.
For further information contact our Customer Service Centre on 0344 800 8020. If you are a school or Early Years Setting, advice is available from the Critical Incident Lead Officer (EPSS).