The dying and death of a family member or loved one has complex, profound and lasting effects for children and youth. Fearing that children were "too young" to understand or to cope with death, adults have often tried to protect them from the devastating, yet unavoidable and natural, experience of grief. Growing knowledge about young people’s needs and capacities has supported the recognition that parents, professionals and community members can support them throughout these experiences by communicating openly, including and engaging them, and fostering resilience amidst adversity.
This interactive workshop will explore relevant theories, research, clinical implications and concrete strategies for supporting young people from infancy through adolescence, who are facing their own death or that of a family member or a loved one. Knowledge and strategies will be transferrable to adults who are parents or caregivers, educators, health or mental health professionals, volunteers and other community members.
Participants in this interactive workshop will:
- Develop a foundation of knowledge about children and young people’s perceptions, and capacities to understand dying and death.
- Examine common and unique elements of grief in relation to child and adolescent development.
- Explore effective communication strategies and the implications of language in discussions about illness, dying, death and grief with children and youth.
- Reflect on the complexities, necessary sensitivities and flexibility in working with various family members, structures and dynamics in support of grieving children and adolescents.
- Engage in hands-on creative activities to encourage legacy and continuing bonds, remembering, emotional literacy and expression, caregiving and self-care with young people of all ages.
For more information contact the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development office:
Kitchener: 519-884-0710 ext. 5234
Milton: 519-884-0710 ext. 5235
Online: 519-884-0710 ext. 5235