Irish Childhood Bereavement Network 2nd National Conference
This year's conference is entitled ‘Quality Support: The Way Forward Standards | Care | Research’ and aims to look deeper into what quality childhood bereavement support involves for practitioners.
The conference is an ideal opportunity for social workers, nurses, therapists and other professionals working with bereaved children to learn new skills, from recent evidence based research, that they can use in their own work to improve outcomes for bereaved children.
It will also act as a useful overview for those who occasionally encounter bereaved children and would like to learn how to support them such as teachers, youth workers, public health nurses etc.
Speakers at this year's conference include:
Sir Al Aynsley- Green – Professor Emeritus of Child Health at University College London
“‘Think Adult – Think Child’ Why those caring for dying adults should always consider the effect of the death on the children in the family”
In this presentation, Sir Al outlines why grief and bereavement in childhood are so important, emphasising that children are the ‘hidden mourners’ today. He highlights new research including impact of bereavement in infancy and offers practical suggestions to support children and prevent long-term adverse consequences of grief.
Liz Koole – Freelance practitioner and trainer in childhood bereavement work
‘Supporting Children after a Traumatic Death’
Liz will consider what we mean by traumatic grief, then go on to talk about the added complexities for a child who has been bereaved as a result of murder or suicide and the impact this has on them. She will look at what helps children after a traumatic death and give examples of working with children of different ages, considering the different issues for children as they get older.
Elke Barber – Author of “Is Daddy coming back in a minute?”
The importance of bereavement support for very young children
A first-hand account of Elke Barber’s experience of being thrown into sudden young widowhood, aged only 34, and how she helped – and continues to help – her very young children navigate through their grieving process. Elke’s talk will centre around the importance of being honest and using age-appropriate language when helping very young children understand death and what happens after death. She will give real-life examples of how a child’s understanding of the subject changes over time and the impact it has on the young person.
Dr. Elizabeth Rolls – Honorary Research Fellow, University of Gloucestershire
‘Taking Care of Taking Care’
This talk will reflect – from the perspective of both staff and the organisation – upon the complex nature of the emotional support that providers give to bereaved children and explore the implications of the ‘deep reality’ of this for individual self care and organisational quality support. It will consider how these elements can be taken into account alongside other aspects of service evaluation including outcomes.