‘41% of young offenders have experienced family bereavement’ how we support children who are bereaved during this pandemic matters ….

When we realise that 41% of young offenders have experienced a family bereavement in the childhood (Winstons Wish @winstonswish‬ the charity established to support bereaved children) it makes us realise how important it is that we support children who face bereavement, as it really will transform life outcomes. Whilst children may not be the face of this pandemic they risk being among its biggest victims. They have thankfully been largely spared from the direct health effects of COVID-19 – at least to date – yet the crisis is having a profound effect on their wellbeing (Policy Brief, The impact of Covid19 on Children, UN 2020 https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/policy_brief_on_covid_impact_on_children_16_april_2020.pdf). The impact of bereavement in childhood is an element we must pay attention to, particularly as the physical face to face support of schools is missing currently.

As adults how we break life changing news to children matters, there’s some valuable information on @RCPCH Covid19 pages on how to do this from the University of Oxford https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/how_to_tell_children_that_someone_has_died_final.pdf that we can signpost people to, its a hugely daunting task that people value support with.

Ongoing conversations and sharing positive memories matter tremendously. I recall us all as a family sitting and crying together as we read ‘Badgers Parting Gifts’ when my husband’s mum died, it was a moment of unity in great sadness. The added complexity of social isolation makes loss even harder than ever and this beautiful animation summarises this powerfully ‘Saying goodbye’ https://vimeo.com/407701292 by ‪@WillisBelfast‬ and the Child Bereavement Network provide a range of resources http://www.childhoodbereavementnetwork.org.uk/

@NHSEngland also bring together contacts that are helpful, including:

How we signpost families to support during this intense period of loss will change children’s lives, we can’t change what has happened, but how we care, talk and act will be remembered forever ….

Author: @kathevans2

I’m a Children’s Nurse who is passionate about improving healthcare and life with people who use services. I love getting out in the countryside or to the seaside to promote my mental health and well-being. On a journey to doing 100 marathons (slowly!) & part of team #NHS1000miles (new members always welcome!) I also love charity shopping, cooking and healthy eating too 😉 Sharing thoughts on a range of things that interest me. Comments, challenge, links to further thinking and research are most welcome. Learning and thinking together is always more fun!

2 thoughts on “‘41% of young offenders have experienced family bereavement’ how we support children who are bereaved during this pandemic matters ….”

  1. Thank you for this Kath and for signposting wonderful resource. I will forward to the bereavement team at Sobell House Oxford.
    Hope you’re resting and having some time for “being” amidst all these challenges. Best wishes to you and your teams. Bridget Clapham


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