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Certificate Program in Children’s Grief and Bereavement – Online 3 Day Training

February 25 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


Day 1: Thursday February 25, 2021

Children at the Bedside: Preparing Children for the Death of Someone Close to Them

Overview: Supporting children and youth who are experiencing the dying of someone close to them is a challenging experience across all disciplines, even for the most skilled volunteer or professional. There is a growing body of research encouraging authenticity, honesty and inclusion of children experiencing a death. Yet too often children and youth remain excluded from the experience of illness, dying and death, leading to a sense of alienation for the child and a missed opportunity for their growth and connection. In our intent of protecting, we often unintentionally unplug the child from relationships both prematurely and unnaturally.

Real-life and real death narratives will be used throughout this workshop to identify practical strategies that can be used to support children and youth who are experiencing the impending death of someone in their lives.

Participants will learn:

1. The roots of our societal discomfort with the topic of children and death.

2. Myths and misconceptions which create barriers to children being included at the bedside of someone who is dying.

3. Practical strategies and creative approaches for preparing children for a death, including a death through Medical Assistance in Dying.

4. Literary and web resources for supporting children who are experiencing the dying of someone close to them.


Day 2: Thursday March 4, 2021

When Death Darkens the Door: Supporting Bereaved Children and Youth

Overview: The death of a significant person represents one of the most powerful disruptions in all aspects of a child or youth’s emotional existence. Yet few professionals or volunteers, whether in the field of mental health, health care, or education, receive formal training on how to support bereaved children and youth. The focus of this workshop will be on supporting children and youth after a death has happened in their lives, regardless of whether the death was a recent event or occurred years ago. This workshop will identify grief support strategies that can be used with children and youth in a wide variety of settings. Deaths both anticipated and sudden, including suicide and substance use, will be addressed.

While signs that a child may be experiencing Childhood Traumatic Grief (CTG) will be identified in this workshop, please note that the emphasis will be on recognizing, not treating, children and youth who are experiencing CTG.

“What not to say” to a grieving child, youth or family member will also be highlighted. Stories and important messages from children and youth that illustrate “best practice” guidelines for supporting a healthy grief process will be shared.

Participants will learn:

1. Innovative and practical tips for helping children and youth understand the concept of death, and for supporting their grief process following a death.

2. Strategies for preparing children and youth for funerals, memorials and other ceremonies.

3. Signs of Childhood Traumatic Grief (CTG)

4. What not to say to a bereaved child or youth

5. Literary and web supports available to children and youth who have experienced a death


Day 3: Thursday March 11, 2021

Dancing in the Darkness: Creative Approaches to Working with Grieving Children and Youth

Overview: Play, creativity and the arts have a unique capacity to respond to human suffering, and offer experimental spaces for the exploration of ideas, feelings and questions around the experiences of death and grief. The emphasis in this workshop will be on supporting participants who now have a theoretical foundation in children’s grief and bereavement to build their toolkit and confidence in creatively engaging with children and youth who are grieving a death. Play based, arts based and other creative approaches to providing grief support to children and youth in a variety of settings, including schools, will be shared. Strategies for supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will also be touched on.

Participants will learn:

1. Creative approaches to supporting children and youth who are grieving the dying or death of someone in their life in a variety of settings including schools.

2. Art and play based strategies to add to the tool box of participants who already have a theoretical foundation in children’s grief and bereavement.

3. Mindfulness practices that can be used to support children, youth and families who are grieving a death.


Registration or questions: Contact Program Services Coordinator, Tiana Pretula tpretula@palliativemanitoba.ca or 204-889-8525 ext. 228

PLEASE NOTE: Priority for registration is given to Manitoba residents. Registrants in Alberta will be waitlisted until closer to the date of the event.




February 25
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Palliative Manitoba