Supporting children affected by bereavement, loss and grief

Welcome to the Bereavement, Loss and Grief Page

In this page you will find a comprehensive package of information, resources and guidance aimed to enhance the support you offer to children, young people, families and colleagues who have, or are experiencing, bereavement or loss. To get the best from these resources we advise that you take some time to familiarise yourselves with the information, make relevant documents visible and readily available to children, young people and families and display posters in your establishment.

If you have any questions regarding this page or if you are seeking further advice or information regarding bereavement, loss and grief please contact Ainsley McGoldrick at Educational Psychology Service:

A Community Approach to Supporting Bereavement, Loss and Grief: Guidance for Educational Establishments

In this comprehensive guidance you will find information relating to bereavement theories, impact of childhood bereavement, how children understand death at different ages, the role of education staff and how you can support bereaved pupils. You will also find sector specific resources, books, information on developing a bereavement policy and local and national support organisations.

Use the contents page to quickly access the information that is relevant to you.



When a Suicide Happens: Supporting Young People, Families and Staff

In this guidance you will find information relating to practical preventive and responsive approaches with the aim of reducing the risk of suicides and supporting the school community when a suicide happens.

Supporting Children and Young People through Anticipatory Grief

Grief can be felt even before someone dies. For example, in the case of a terminal illness, family members and friends will experience strong emotions in anticipation of the loss. This brief guidance will provide you with information about how you can support children and young people through this difficult time.


These leaflets should be made readily available to young people, families and professionals



Supporting Organisations – Where to Find Help

This is a handy guide to a range of local and national support organisations. Print out in A5 and keep a supply in the reception of your setting for easy access for visitors.


The Supporting Children who are Bereaved Poster is designed as a quick reference for adults of the key points to remember when supporting a bereaved pupil. Display in staff rooms as a reminder.

This Healthier Minds Poster was designed to provide people with quick access to the contact details for support organisations.  Display around your establishment for children, young people, staff and visitors.


A5 Diary Insert or Poster

Quick Access Resources, Books

Here you will find age appropriate fiction books, workbooks, guides for parents and professionals regarding supporting bereaved children and young people and whole class lesson planning resources.

Books, Resources, Lesson Planning Preschool

Books, Resources, Lesson Planning Primary

Books, Resources, Lesson Planning Secondary

Books, Resources, Lesson Planning Additional Support Needs


Resource Compendium

This  compendium has been compiled from resources designed by popular and reputable bereavement support organisations. They should be used to complement the East Renfrewshire resources and as required by your setting.

Cbeebies Film – Our Family Alexa’s Memories of Mummy

Cbeebies Film – Archie

The death of a loved one can be hard for young children to understand. These 2 short Cbeebies films can help introduce the topic and provide advice on how to talk to young children about death.


Information Documents for Parents, Carers, Staff and Visitors

Info Sheet When a Grandparent Dies

Info Sheet Understanding of Death and Age Stage

Info Sheet Supporting My Child after a Death

Info Sheet Supporting Children after a Frightening Event

Info Sheet Supporting Bereaved Young Children

Info Sheet Explaining Funerals and Memorials

Info Sheet Bereavement Support for a Surviving Parent

Supporting Young Children and Families through a Bereavement Anna Freud

Books and Resources for Parents Carers Preschool

Books and Resources for Parents Carers Primary

Books and Resources for Parents Carers Secondary

Coping Strategies and Practical Ideas for those Bereaved and those Supporting Them

Grief Support Ideas for Me Upper Primary Secondary

Grief Support Ideas for Parents Carers

Grief Support Ideas for Friends

Grief Support Ideas for Staff


When Someone Special Dies Booklets for Children

These booklets can be used by children to help them understand the death and personalise their own experience. Children should be supported by a trusted adult to complete the booklet and could be provided to parents to work on at home.

When Someone Special Dies Personal Book Children under 7

When Someon Special Dies Personal Book Children 7-11

Remembering Dad Personal Booklet for Children

The Lost for Words Book has been created by bereaved children to provide support and reassurance to other bereaved children

Resources for those at risk of Suicide

These posters and leaflets should be readily available and publicised in your setting.




Suicide Safety Plan

If you are working with a young person, colleague or friend who is struggling with suicidal thoughts it can be difficult to know how to support them. Talking to someone about suicide will not put the idea in their head and you are more likely to help them consider alternatives to suicide by talking to them and reminding them that they are not alone. Help them focus on being safe for now by working through a Suicide Safety Plan. These plans have been developed by Papyrus and follow the same themes as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).


Bereavement Letters for use by Schools

Template Letter to Parents Death of their Child

Template Letter to Parents Death of Staff Member

Template Letter to Parents Death of a Pupil

Case Studies

As a team you may want to explore your understanding of children’s experience of bereavement and how you can support children, young people, families and colleagues. Use these case study exercises to explore your own systems and processes and identify how you will improve support planning for those experiencing bereavement and loss.

case study exercise age 8

case study exercise age 10

case study exercise early years

case study exercise age 16

case study exercise age 12

case study exercise ASN




ERCPC Multi Agency Guidance Suicide and Self Harm (2014)

(FINAL VERSION) ERCPC Multi Agency Summary Guidance – Suicide and Self Harm (2014) (3) (2)