Hunter New England Local Health District Department of Forensic Medicine Newcastle


Keeping Connections - Childhood Bereavement Support Program


Hunter, NSW



Funding Dates

January 2014 - December 2014

The Department of Forensic Medicine provides a specialist forensic service following the report of a sudden and unexpected death to the Coroner. In most of these instances, the deceased have left behind children or grandchildren, siblings, friends, nephews or nieces.

The death of a parent or sibling is the most fundamental loss a child can face. Research shows that childhood grief is associated with increased risk of self-harm and mental health difficulties, truancy and poor school performance, low self-esteem, reduced social connectedness, and a breakdown in family functioning.

The Keeping Connections - Childhood Bereavement Program aims to provide age-appropriate, therapeutic peer group support for children, young people and their carers who are bereaved by the sudden death of a close relative.

In 2013, nib foundation provided a grant for the pilot program and our continued support will see the program expanded in 2014 to develop a therapeutic children's group. The program will benefit 50 families across the Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast regions.