Hunter New England Local Health District Department of Forensic Medicine Newcastle
Keeping Connections - Childhood Bereavement Support Program
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
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.