Supporting Children Experiencing Bereavement

Supporting Children Experiencing Bereavement

SFE Safeguarding Adviser and Emotional Health Expert, Lucie Welch, shares some of the key ways to support children experiencing bereavement.

According to Child Bereavement UK, 1 in 29 5-16 year olds has been bereaved of a parent or sibling.

Additionally, a parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; around 23,600 a year. This equates to around 111 children being bereaved of a parent every day (Child Bereavement UK, 2023).

We are wired to protect the children in our care and when we see them hurting, we want to do everything in our power to make them happy.

Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience and many children do not have the protective support factors to guide them through the process, that’s where school and pastoral staff can step in.

There are many things you can do to help children to work through their emotions, understand what’s happened, and cope with their loss.

In this resource, “Supporting Children Experiencing Bereavement,” we delve into six ways you can support children in your setting, and the steps you can take to help.

We have also recreated this as a blog below, for easy reading and reference.

download the resource here

1. Talking

Talk about anything the child wants, they don’t always have to talk about the person they have lost. Encourage them to vocalise their feelings and share memories or happy times.

2. Memories

A memory jar, box or book is a good way to collect and write down favourite and special memories of loved ones. These can then be pulled out and read later and encourage thinking of better times.

3. Journalling

Putting feelings into words can be helpful if children aren’t sure what to say. It can help a child process how they are feeling and understand how far they have come in their grief journey.

4. Reading

There are many books and stories that can support children with their grief. These may offer strategies, support and kindness when things are tough. These can also help younger children talk about grief.

5. Photo Books

Collecting and collating photos of the life of the person has died, helps to keep their memory alive. This can help children to talk about their experiences and reflect on their life with that loved one.

6. Unsent Letters

There may be things a child wishes they could have said to the person who has died. Writing a letter to that person can be a good way for a child to share the things they feel they need to.

download the resource here

Need more support with this topic?  

If you would like support with how to deal with concerns regarding Bereavement, please feel free to contact our safeguarding team at safeguarding@servicesforeducation.co.uk

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About the Adviser

Lucie WelchLucie Welch – Adviser, Services For Education

Lucie Welch has worked in the field of Primary Education for the last 15 years, holding the positions of Assistant Head of School, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Attendance Lead and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children. Through working across several local authorities and within multi-academy trusts, Lucie has garnered a passion for safeguarding and supporting children and young people to enable them to thrive.

At Services For Education, Lucie is an integral part of the Safeguarding team, sharing her expertise with schools, colleges, trusts, and other educational settings across the city of Birmingham and beyond. Dedicated to improving safeguarding practices in an actionable and impactful way, Lucie works closely with settings to provide bespoke training, supports with reflection on their own practices during Safeguarding audits and always strives to contribute to a better learning environment for all children. Through delivery of statutory training for DSLs and Safer Recruitment, Lucie works with colleagues in all age ranges and is a source of expertise within these areas.

Lucie also wears other important hats within the School Support Team. Not only is she dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of students through her role in safeguarding, but she also plays a key part in the PSHE/RSE and Health for Life teams. Additionally, Lucie partners with the Best Practice Network to deliver the Early Career Framework, supporting new teachers in their professional development.

Do you need Safeguarding Support at your school?

Our expert advisers can provide in-school visits to deliver sessions on any specific safeguarding issues that are relevant to your setting. We also offer consultancy and a detailed safeguarding audit. We will work with you to understand your exact requirements.

Get in touch with us today if you’d like to discuss bespoke Safeguarding training for your school.

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