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How we can support grieving children

We understand children grieve differently to adults. We aim to give every child and young person a voice for their grief and access to help when they need it most. Our dedicated and experienced bereavement team is passionate about providing individually tailored support to help children and young people as they grieve.

Making sure we are with you, every step of the way, the team are there for those moments when you need us.

Bereavement support sessions

These strength-based sessions are geared to support parents and children by providing them with the tools and skills to help navigate grief with children and young people.

This could include helping to understand the emotions and reactions to grief, developing coping strategies, looking at the needs of the young person during this time and understanding loss as a normal response to grief.

The first session will include asking you questions outlining what your main goals are, and what you would like to gain from these sessions.

Group sessions

Our group sessions offer a safe and supportive environment for children, young people and parents to work with the others to gain increased understanding of feelings and experiences that can be associated with grief. The groups provide an opportunity to connect with others going through similar situations. Groups are split into age groups; under 7’s, 8-10s, 11 plus, teenagers and young adults, giving children and young people the opportunity to meet others of a similar age. We also run specialist sessions for those who have experienced sudden and traumatic bereavement, for example murder and suicide.

One-to-one grief therapy

Specialist, one-to-one grief therapy offers a child-centred approach to sensitively and compassionately work through grief with children and young people of all ages. We know a sense of family matters to how children manage their grief and so we also offer support to the adults around them who matter the most. This ensures that children and young people have support at home and within their family. During your sessions you will be able to share your experience in a safe, accepting environment, and explore emotions and find ways to develop healthy coping skills for dealing with grief.

Our Grief Encounter team are on hand to answer questions and offer advice and guidance, we aim to provide support for children and young people and those adults and professionals supporting the child/young person. In-person sessions are available at our London and South West Hubs. Online and telephone therapy is available for those living outside of these areas.

Self-referral form

“After Mum died, I felt like I was trapped in a bubble of sadness that no one else could see. I didn’t want to talk to my friends or my teachers because I thought they wouldn’t understand. It was hard to concentrate in class, and sometimes I just wanted to be alone. I missed her so much, and the pain felt like it was too much to handle.

But then, I was introduced to Grief Encounter. They gave me an activity book where I could write down my feelings and they organised group activities where I met other kids who had lost a parent. It made me feel less alone, and I started opening up again. They even gave me a memory box to keep special things that reminded me of Mum which helped me feel supported and understood.”

Girl, age 14, whose mum died from cancer.

Around 1 child in every classroom

1 in 29 five to sixteen-year-olds have been bereaved of a parent or sibling.

Problems at school

Bereaved children have lower average exam scores than their peers, and are more likely to be unemployed at 30.
Family in white

Mental health

Children whose mother or father has died are are around 1.5 times as likely as non-bereaved children to have a mental disorder.