Morning all, and a very warm welcome to our new website. As a group of professionals, we realised that collectively we share a lot of information and resources about change and loss with our colleagues, with families and with Children and Young People. However, we also realised that we didn’t have one place that everyone could go to access all of this. As a result, we have been working on this website, that anyone can access, to find out about the support available in Highland when experiencing Change, Loss or Bereavement. The website is still under construction, and will continue to be added to over the coming months. We hope to be able to share relevant resources, signpost to support available, point you in the direction of useful websites and also for families, children & young people and practitioners to share with us what has worked for them and why. This blog will be used to share reviews of books, of support we have accessed, theory, training and anything else relevant to the Highland Community in terms of Change and Loss. Thank you for joining us on the journey, and for your patience while we develop the site. Sign up to the blog to receive regular updates as we progress.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, to read more about what is happening in Highland please see this news release from The Highland Council, in partnership with the Highland Community Planning Partnership.
If you are supporting a child or young person who has been bereaved by suicide please see our Tragic Events Guidance and our book list for resources and guidance on how best to help them.
We are pleased to be able to share some particularly useful information prepared by the Military Liaison Group and our Promoting Positive Relationships Co-ordinator; Lou Kinnear.
As you will no doubt be aware UK troops have now left Afghanistan and are returning to their bases. Deployment is a cycle that involves the lead up to and the returning and resettling from a Deployment and can affect Children and Young People and their families in different ways. The newsletter below should provide you with helpful information and advice that can support and be considered.
The MLG partnership works with Educators and Practitioners providing information, training and resources and provides helpful advice, guidance and support to families of Armed Forces. Click Here to view the MLG website for further information.
Looking for Change, Loss & Bereavement Training? Or Seasons for Growth Training? You’ve come to the right place! Here are our dates for all things Seasons and CLB this session:
Are you a member of staff working with children, young people and their families? Join us at our Change, Loss & Bereavement Awareness training as listed in the THRIVE section of our training pathway.
To find out more about the C&YP programme click here. Get in touch if you are interested in training with us. Our first round of training this year is at the end of September and we currently still have some availability.
Are you a trained Seasons children and young people’s companion already? Would you like to be able to support parents to support their children through change and loss? Our training for this term is full already but we have three more dates available throughout the year.
Find out more here or contact us to discuss joining us on one of our one day training sessions.
Are you a trained companion looking to attend a re-connector session? We are running one each term, please get in touch to reserve a place and the Trainer running the session will be back in touch with further details.
Has it been a while since you trained in the Seasons CYP Programme? Are you keen to run a group but feel like you could do with a refresh? Get in touch with us to discuss and reserve a place at one of our sessions this year.
Over the summer we have pulled together training opportunities, resources and guidance relating to change and loss. Some of these are training that we can offer you, and others are things that you can access independently or signpost children, young people and their families to.
You can access these interactive PDF documents under Professionals -> Training Pathway.
We have used the Anna Freud THRIVE framework to help you think about what support the children and young people you work with might need, and the level of training that might be best suited to you or your staff to respond to that need.
This document will be updated as new training and resources evolve.
Make sure you download the PDFs so that you can click on the links housed within the document.
Our Understanding the Impact of change and loss for children, young people and families training will be offered throughout this session. If you are a member of staff looking to join us on this training please come along to one of our online sessions. Details below:
We are very aware that our Care Experienced children are often exposed to multiple losses, and we wanted to highlight some very relevant documents that will support us all in thinking about how best to support them.
On 5 February 2020, the Care Review published seven reports, with ‘the promise’ narrating a vision for Scotland, built on five foundations. With cross-party support and broad commitment to #KeepThePromise, Scotland, its statutory agencies, local authorities, third sector and thousands of children and families knew that much needed to change to make sure that all Scotland’s children grow up ‘loved, safe and respected.’
As a group, we are committed to promoting the promise, integrating it in to our plan and playing our part in achieving the goals set out within plan 21-24.
You will remember a few weeks back we advertised the opportunity to be part of our very first round of Seasons Parent Programme training to staff across Highland. We had our first cohort with us yesterday, just look at their happy faces! We are so proud and pleased to say that we have grown from three trained parent companions to twelve! Thank you for being such a fantastic and insightful group, we are very excited to see the programme spreading and growing in Highland.
Our pilot school recently shared some feedback about the programme from Parents:
What do you think you might do differently as a result of attending the programme?
“Being able to speak to my children without worrying I said something I shouldn’t have. I feel I can support my children much better and understand their thoughts and feelings.”
What aspects of the programme did you find most beneficial?
“Everything about this programme is amazing and has given me a better understanding about everything. I can’t wait to see what the kids one is like and see the positive impact it has on them.”
On a scale to 1 – 5 the parent rated themselves as a 1; feeling not confident at all about attending the programme, by the end of the programme the parent rated themselves as a 5 stating they feel very confident.
For more information about the Parent Programme click here.
We know that children who are bereaved will be grieving for life and the loss will always be with them. This means that children may need to look again at the details surrounding the death of an important person in their lives as they grow older. Feelings they had when young will be different several years further on as their understanding matures and the meaning of the death changes as they move through life. This is not unresolved grief but the experience of different feelings later in life, often connected to major life events such as switching classes, moving up to senior school or other significant change.
People are often at a loss as to know what to say or do to help a child who has been bereaved by the death of someone important to them. Every situation is different, and children will be affected to a greater or lesser degree, dependent on the circumstances of the death and the nature of the relationship they had with the person who has died.
Most grieving children do not need a ‘bereavement expert’ they need people who care. Schools, just by carrying on with their usual day-to-day activities while being aware of the bereavement, can do a huge amount to support a grieving pupil.
Following this link will take you to the CBUK page which provides information and resources to support primary school pupils:
We talk about the importance of books a lot within the CLB group, at our awareness raising training and also at Seasons for Growth training. Books in the classroom, or at home, help to normalise death and dying for children and young people. Rather than using them after a death, we emphasise how important it is to have these texts freely available so that children know about death and dying, feel able to ask questions and realise that they are not the only one who has or will experience death.
I would like to share this YouTube video of Badgers Parting Gifts (you might remember this one from an earlier blog post courtesy of our Primary school pupil Lucy).
Lucy referenced in her review of the book that it had made it easier for her to talk to other people about death, and that sharing at home had helped her Gran as well. Books about death and dying aren’t just for our children and young people!
For more ideas of which books you could use, recommend or purchase for your home or school libraries, please have a look at our book list.
Adults sometimes think that by not talking to children about death, they are protecting them. But death is very much part of ordinary life for children – it is in the books they read, the films they watch, the computer games they play.
A big thank you to Isabel Shaver; Educational Psychologist for taking the time to compose this blog post, and pull together such pertinent information about how to support bereaved children & young people.
Are you a trained C&YP Seasons companion? Or are you a Head Teacher whose school already runs Seasons for children and young people? Would you like to be able to offer the Parent Programme too?
The parent programme is all about supporting parents to understand and support their children through change and loss.
We are delivering training to staff who are already trained as Children & Young People’s Programme Companions, who have delivered Seasons at least once and have received their accreditation. We have two dates available; Thursday 10th June and Tuesday 31st August. This is a one day training and there is a cost for materials attached. For further information about signing up and the programme please contact Jo or Isabel via the emails above in the first instance.