Supporting bereaved families

Featured Tools:

6 Jun 2019
It can feel difficult to know how best to help families when someone dies. Here we have brought together ideas and resources suggested by children’s, youth and families pastors from all over the UK. We do hope they will be useful to you.


Organisations that may be able to help

  • Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals both when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, and when a child is facing bereavement.
  • Winston's Wish supports bereaved children, their families and the professionals who support them.
  • Care for the Family provides a range of support services for people who have been bereaved
  • SeeSaw was established in 2000 to meet the needs of bereaved children and young people in Oxfordshire and has a great range of downloadable resources for parents and professionals on their website
  • The Compassionate Friends is a charitable organisation of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents dedicated to the support and care of other similarly bereaved family members.
  • The Courage Foundation seeks to support children and families as they live with bereavement of losing a sibling.
  • Your local hospice may be able to offer support or signpost you to other organisations.


Books for children

  • ‘Jesus still loves Joe’ by Victoria Beech and the Paediatric Chaplaincy Network; this is also available as a free video online here.
  • Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine’ by Diana Crossley
  • ‘Michael Rosen’s Sad Book’ by Michael Rosen
  • ‘Waterbugs and Dragonflies’ by Doris Stickney
  • ‘Badger’s Parting Gift’ by Susan Varley
  • ‘Sad isn’t Bad: a Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss’ by Michaealene Mundy 
  • ‘Tapestry’ by Bob Hartman and Susie Poole 
  • ‘Always and Forever’ by Alan Durant and Debi Gliori


Books for professionals and volunteers working with families

  • ‘Walking in their Shadow: Supporting Children and Young People Through Bereavement’ by Lex Bradley and Lucy Moore
  • ‘Children and Bereavement’ by Wendy Duffy

Other resources

On our website we have some articles that may be helpful:

•    Thinking about creating windows into our emotions for our children to see
•    Two training documents on prayer ministry with children – helping them connect with God when they are finding it difficult: part 1 and part 2. This is also taught to parents and carers in session 7 of the course 
•    Helping us answer any question our children might have.

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Image acknowledgements

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay