Background The ethos of our service for supporting children when someone is dying or has died is not only to provide 1:1 and peer group support but also to upskill schools and parents/guardians in their needs as a grieving child. We were not aware of any other local services that provided this education.
Aim Our aim was to produce and present a Parents’ Course that provides information on all aspects of a child’s journey through grief. We acknowledge that a child’s grief changes over time and parents need to have insight and knowledge to help their child and to recognise when they may need more professional help. At the end of the course we want parents to feel more confident and be able to not just understand why children grieve but also have some practical insight and skills into how to help them. This is aimed at both pre and post bereavement.
Methods To offer a six session course at monthly intervals. Each session would cover a specific aspect of a child’s grief journey: Session 1 – How do children grieve. Session 2 – How childhood development impacts on grief. Session 3 – How to communicate with your child to discuss their feelings. Session 4 – Inner child and their spiritual beliefs. Session 5 – The importance of capturing memories. Session 6 – Review of the course and self care.
Results Five parents have regularly attended the pilot course which commenced earlier this year. Sharing in group. Positive feedback. Parents’ connections. Resource provided.
Conclusion The course still has two sessions to complete and at this time we will provide a handbook to accompany the course, also asking for them to complete an evaluation. Parents have engaged fully and shared verbal feedback of how they are feeling more competent to navigate their child’s new behaviour.
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