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Ireland’s First Standards for Childhood Bereavement Care Launched

07 November 2017

Ireland’s first ever standards for childhood bereavement care were launched on 6th November by Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children in The Irish Hospice Foundation office on Nassau Street, Dublin.<br /><br />

Standards for Supporting Bereaved Children and Young People - A Framework for Development’ was developed by the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN) following public and professional consultation. The standards illustrate a multi-layered vision for bereavement support to emphasise the highest level of care that our bereaved children and young people deserve.

Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children said: "I am delighted to launch Ireland’s first ever standards for childhood bereavement care. I very much support the development of these standards which will help support our children and young people as they try to deal with the trauma that is bereavement.

I am very pleased to see that counselling services in the community have been highlighted as essential in the standards. This support is key to helping children suffering from bereavement early and effectively. I look forward to the implementation of these standards in the best interest of children and young people all over Ireland."

The ICBN say the standards will be used as a benchmark for planning, provision and quality review. Speaking today, Anne Marie Jones, Chair of the ICBN Standards Group said: “This resource will be helpful to adults who wonder what they can do for a child in their family, a child in their classroom, a child in their GAA club or the bereaved children in their political constituency. It is a vision for how we as a society can recognise and support bereavement children. 

We invite a strong national recognition of the critical importance of this vision, to ensure that our bereaved children grow into strong and mentally healthy young people who have learned the skills that they need and been provided the timely support that they may need, to journey through their bereavement.”

This framework is directed at all adults, professionals, volunteer organisations and policy makers who are concerned about bereaved children and young people. ICBN will review these standards and associated criteria every three years in the expectation that additional emphases, criteria and examples of achievement can be added.

Today’s launch also kick-starts Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week (13-18th November) which promotes greater awareness and understanding of children’s grief. Early and consistent healthy support within families and communities can lead to better outcomes for a bereaved child.

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