Grief matters for children
Thursday 16 April 2009
The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN) is the
national, multi-professional network of organisations and
individuals working in the field of childhood bereavement. Alison
Penny, CBN co-ordinator, outlines its current campaigning work.
The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN), hosted by NCB, promotes
the interests of bereaved children and their families and
encourages the development of quality support for them. Services
include a directory of support organisations, regional meetings for
subscribers, downloadable training resources, an email bulletin and
a point of contact for anyone working in or trying to set up a
childhood bereavement service.
In 2006, CBN launched a major three-year policy, practice and
awareness campaign, Grief Matters for Children, funded by the
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The campaign wants support
to be available to all bereaved children, wherever they live and
however they've been bereaved.
Support in schools
Year one of the project focused on support in schools. Young NCB
members gave their views about why it was important for schools to
tackle bereavement, and how they could do this. Their presentations
formed part of a series of taster days in each of the four nations
for healthy schools staff, personal, social and health education
(PSHE) co-ordinators and others to explore ways of developing the
The needs of young people in care who have been bereaved were
explored in the second year of the programme. Young people, carers
and professionals involved in Healthy Care Partnerships talked
about their experiences and shaped how support could be provided,
culminating in a briefing for staff and managers and a programme of
regional seminars bringing together foster carers, social workers,
managers and bereavement services.
Successful parliamentary activity has included an early day
motion calling for improvements to childhood bereavement services,
supported by 62 cross-party MPs; a tea-party for young people,
families and parliamentarians; a meeting with the Secretary of
State for Children, Schools and Families and speeches to an
All-Party Parliamentary Group.
CBN also provided briefings to parliamentarians during the
passage of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 and is currently
working on the Coroners and Justice Bill.
For more information and to get involved, visit the Childhood
Bereavement Network website.