Presented by: Leigh Donovan, Karen Joy
The inaugural Bereavement Support Program based in the Paediatric Palliative Care Service, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital was established in 2010. This was the first service of its kind to be established in Australia. Over the course of the past six years the service has grown and responded to the needs of families whose child has been diagnosed with and died from a life limiting condition. Drawing on practice wisdom; contemporary theoretical approaches informing loss, grief and bereavement; public health models of palliative care; and research findings from doctoral studies, Leigh and Karen will guide workshop participants through the critical steps in establishing a sustainable and holistic paediatric bereavement care service which straddles the acute hospital setting, palliative care service and community setting. Core service components discussed will include anticipatory grief support for family members; education as a tool for building self-efficacy within the family system and their community of supporters in the context of paediatric palliative care; advocacy in the hospital and community health setting around the needs of families following the death of a child; adopting public health approaches to bereavement care. Workshop participants will be encouraged to translate this new knowledge into their own professional context taking into consideration geographical, cultural and spiritual features of the families they care for. Participants will leave this workshop with a framework for establishing a bereavement care program based in a paediatric palliative care service.