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Rutland Information Service

Bereavement information for Early Years settings and schools

The information below has been compiled to help professionals working in Early Years settings and schools support children, parents and staff through bereavement. 

Useful websites

Child Bereavement UK support children and young people (up to age 25), parents, and families, to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. They also provide training to professionals, equipping them to provide the best possible care to bereaved families.

Compassionate Friends offer support to bereaved parents and their families.

Cruse offers face-to-face, telephone, email and website support for people who are dealing with bereavement and grief. The charity has branches in Leicestershire and Stamford and Bourne.

Mind is a charity supporting people with mental illness; their website includes access to an information hub.

Winston’s Wish supports bereaved children, young people, their families, and the professionals who support them.

The Laura Centre is a professional bereavement service offering virtual and telephone counselling in Leicester.

Samaritans is a registered charity providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress.

Childline offers a great range of resources and advice for children.

Grief Encounter offers a great range of resources to support families, children, schools and professionals.

The Child Bereavement UK website contains information on how to develop a bereavement policy/charter for your school/setting. There are also examples of letters that can be sent out to parents.

What resources can we use to support children?

Child Bereavement UK has released a video on supporting bereaved children during the coronavirus outbreak.

Winston's Wish has published the following resources, which could be used to support children:

What resources can we use to support parents?

YoungMinds' guidance on talking with your child about grief and loss could be used to support parents, as could Winston's Wish's Children and Grief (A guide to grief at different ages).

What resources can we use to support staff?

Winston's Wish have published the following resources, which could be used to support staff:

Books to support different age groups

A list of books to support bereavement has been published by Winston's Wish. These books are split into the following age ranges.

  • Books for children under 5 
  • Books for age 5 to 8 years 
  • Books for age 9 to 12 years 
  • Books for age 13 to 16 years 
  • Other helpful books (not directly about death)

ELSA resources for teachers

ELSA Support have an extensive range of resources about Coronavirus and bereavement and loss available on their website.

How can the Early Help Team offer support?

The Early Help Team say:

Through Early Help, we can do direct work with children and young people using a variety of resources, helping them to understand their own feelings, associated behaviours, and helping them to make changes or understand their feelings are normal– we can use CBT techniques, some counselling skills and a variety of different skills to help people talk about and work through things. All of the Early Help workers have different skills to bring to the mix.

We can also work with the parents/carers to help them understand what the child/young person is going through, and help parents to understand how they can change their behaviours to help. We can give parents/carers strategies to use with their child/young person and can help them recognise warning signs that the child/young person might be struggling.

We can support the relationships between family members, strengthening their relationships and understanding of each other.

We work with the whole family, or we can complete short 1-1 targeted pieces of work depending on the need. In the current times, this can be FaceTime, phone calls, emails, WhatsApp (and similar). Once we are able to do visits, we can then do 1-1 direct sessions.

The Early Help Team can be creative with their working – this can involve working with schools and helping to plan and deliver whole class lessons, small group work and similar, supplying resources for 1-1 work.

They are a resourceful team, and can usually find a way to support in most situations. To contact them, please call 01572 772 577 (ext 8493 - families; ext 8407 - practitioners) and ask for the Early Help team. You can also email them at EarlyHelp@rutland.gov.uk

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