If you are seeking help for your bereaved child or looking for support for a grieving family you are working with, then you have come to the right place!
We welcome referrals from all families and professionals – you do not need to go through a GP or other professional to receive our help. If you are a professional referring a child, please ensure you have the parent/s or carer/s consent.
We help and support children, young people and their parents or carers who have experienced the death of someone close to them and who are based in the North Devon and Torridge area. We have experienced staff and volunteers, who have all been trained in bereavement support, with many of our volunteers working as teachers, nurses or social workers alongside their volunteering role with FiG. We believe that as grief is a normal response to death or a loss we offer bereavement support to families and not ‘counselling’. We are not qualified counsellors.
Many of our staff and volunteers are drawn to this work as they have experienced a significant bereavement in their own lives. We will be alongside you to listen, and to offer advice or resources where appropriate. The support we provide is free of charge.
If you need more help before making a referral, please do get in touch. We are friendly and welcoming and will ensure that all referrals are treated in the strictest confidence.
What will happen next?
Once you have made contact with us, one of our Family Service Coordinators will call you back, and together you can discuss your needs. It is during this conversation that the Family Service Coordinator will talk through the support we can offer you and better understand your situation. We understand that not all families are the same and so support at this early stage is tailored to the individual child or young person.
Please bear in mind…
We do not offer clinical support. If we feel whilst talking to you that your family have more complex needs or mental illness that is at a greater level than we are trained at, we will talk to you about other services that can help you.
If at the point of referral, you are being supported by two or three different agencies for example, social services, school and another charity, then we will assess your child and family on a case by case basis. In some instances, we will offer phone support and resources to the professional working closest with the child, for example social worker or a TA. We do have a great relationship with all of these services, and so we will often, with your permission, liaise with them to ensure you get the best help that your family need.
Many children come to our service with additional needs, we use wheelchair friendly venues, and we will assess each child or young person individually to offer the appropriate support. And, where relevant adapt activities at group sessions to accommodate their needs. On occasion after assessment a child may not be appropriate to take part in our group sessions, if this is the case, then we will offer alternative support to suit their needs usually at home or at school.
If your child is being supported by CAMHS at the point of referral to FiG, then we will assess their suitability to our service at that time. We may find that it’s beneficial for the child to complete their clinical support from CAMHS first before they receive our support. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.
If your family has experienced multiple bereavements in short succession or have experienced a bereavement which has been in the media, then we will create bespoke support for your family separately from one of our groups. We will do this by doing activities with you at home or at school.
If you are a grieving parent and you are experiencing severe or enduring mental ill health, then we will talk to you about your needs, and assess whether it’s appropriate for you to take part in, for example, one of our ‘parents groups’, this is because we offer bereavement support, not clinical support. If your needs are greater than is safe to offer you, we will signpost you to another appropriate service.
We are a small charity and we will do our utmost to help you. We look forward to hearing from you.
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