Author: megan@nysfda.org

Teen Grief & Wellness

Teen Grief & Wellness

Key Points When Talking to Children and Teens About Death and Dying

If you are raising or caring for a child or teen who needs to be informed of a death, you may wonder how to share this news with them. It is perfectly natural to feel nervous or even fearful of talking with a child about this emotional topic. This resource was created to help you prepare for these conversations.

Click here to download this resource.


March 2 – World Teen Mental Wellness Day

Developed by teenagers themselves, this guide offers an authentic and relatable perspective on supporting a teen through the challenges of loss. This resource outlines and provides insight what to do and what not to do to help you in your work supporting teens who are grieving.

Download the resource today.

Grief & Wellness Awareness

Grief & Wellness Awareness

February is Black History Month

Childhood bereavement is a critical issue and an increasingly important national priority. The death of a parent, sibling, or other important person in a child’s life is one of the most frequently reported disruptive childhood experiences. Disparities in mortality rates across race and ethnic groups in the U.S. result in disproportionate youth bereavement prevalence. Understanding how children of different racial and ethnic background are impacted in essential to help every bereaved child find hope and healing.

For more details and information, visit judishouse.org to view the Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM) reports.

Judi’s House/JAG Institute partnered with the New York Life Foundation to help support grieving children and families by creating the Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model.


March is Disabilities Awareness Month

Navigating the complex terrain of childhood grief becomes an even more intricate journey when considering the diverse spectrum of abilities children may possess. Recognizing that grief knows no boundaries, this resource aims to provide a comprehensive guide to best practices for supporting a child of all abilities through the grieving process. In a world that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and individuality, it is essential to understand the unique needs and challenges that children with varying abilities may encounter when coping with loss.

Download the resource today.

Comfort Zone Camp Offers Support to Grieving Children

Comfort Zone Camp Offers Support to Grieving Children

Do you know a grieving child that could use support? Comfort Zone Camp, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children ages 7-17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or guardian. All their programing is free-of-charge, and they are offering the following loss camps:

  • February 5-26 (Monday evenings 7:00-8:15 EST) – Virtual 4-week program
    • Ages 10-17
    • Also offering separate optional parent program
  • August 2-4 – Camp DeWolfe, Wading River, NY
    • Ages 7-17 
    • Young adults ages 18-25 
  • Sept 13-15 – Fresh Air Fund, Fishkill, NY
    • For overdose Loss only
    • In Partnership with A Little Hope Foundation 
    • Ages 7-17 
    • Also offering separate optional parent program 
  • November 4-25 (Monday evenings 7:00-8:15 EST) – Virtual 4-week program
    • Ages 10-17
    • Also offering separate optional parent program

Helpful Links:

Holiday Grief

Holiday Grief

The season that begins with Thanksgiving and continues through the New Year is often called the “season of family”. During this time of year, regardless of which holidays, faith, or culture you honor, there is an emphasis on family – with a heightened awareness of who is missing at the table when we gather. It is important we recognize and honor our traditions and family while remembering the relationship and memories of those who have died. This holiday toolkit offers ideas and inspiration for families to honor the person who has died and the holiday season.

Download this resource.

NYS Childhood Bereavement Prevalence Data

NYS Childhood Bereavement Prevalence Data

Childhood bereavement is a critical issue and an increasingly important national priority. The death of a parent, sibling, or other important person in a child’s life is one of the most frequently reported disruptive childhood experiences, and without appropriate support, can lead to adverse health and welfare outcomes. Understanding the number of children impacted by death is essential to help every bereaved child find hope and healing.

For national data, visit the NACG website.


About Childhood Grief

The death of a family member, friend or other significant person is a lifelong loss for children. It is normal for children to miss the person who died and to experience grief that might come and go with different levels of intensity for some time after the death. It can be challenging to parents and caregivers to know what to do for, what to say to and how to help children who are obviously hurting.

The NACG’s resource, About Childhood Grief, offers a few suggestions about how to be helpful to a grieving child based on research and practice among children’s grief support professionals and volunteers. It is important to note that grief reactions in children are varied, wide ranging and unique to each individual. The following suggestions will help guide you as you seek to be provide understanding and compassion to children living with grief.

Download this Resource.

School Resources

School Resources

The death of a family member, friend, or other significant person is a lifelong loss for children. It is important to note that grief reactions in children are varied, wide-ranging, and unique to each individual.

Our partners at the National Association for Children’s Grieve developed several resources designed for those in the school community supporting a child that is grieving. We encourage you to use and share them freely.


Caregivers and Schools Working Together in Partnership After a Death Guide

When your child goes back to school after the death of someone important in their life, it is critical for you to help the school understand how to best support your child during this time. Caregivers know their children best. It is the job of caregivers to help their children feel comfortable at school and empower teachers and other staff to create environments that will best suit the needs of their child. It is important that caregivers communicate with school staff concerning considerations that may be needed for their child. This may include anything from a bit of extra grace on difficult days to a request for the creation of an Individual Bereavement Support Plan.

Download this Resource.


Supporting a student who is grieving: Resource guide for administrators

Students who are grieving face a multitude of additional potential stressors during the school day. We know they struggle with emotional, physical, behavioral, and interpersonal reactions to their grief that impact their ability to successfully navigate the school environment both in the immediate and long term.

Download this Resource.


Individual Student Bereavement Support Plan

This document is a resource for supporting students returning to school after they have experienced the death of a significant person in their lives. When a student returns to school, they may feel alone and challenged by the task of engaging with their daily routine. Schools are in a unique position to provide support for students with thoughtful plans specific to the individual’s needs. Students grieve developmentally, and their needs are unique and changing throughout the days, months, and years ahead. Those students that need and receive grief support have improved outcomes socially, emotionally, and academically.

Download the Resource.


Rights of a Student who is Grieving

This document is a resource for supporting students returning to school after they have experienced the death of a significant person in their lives. When a student returns to school, they may feel alone and challenged by the task of engaging with their daily routine. Schools are in a unique position to provide support for students with thoughtful plans specific to the individual’s needs. Students grieve developmentally, and their needs are unique and changing throughout the days, months, and years ahead. Those students that need and receive grief support have improved outcomes socially, emotionally, and academically.

Download the Resource.


Supporting a Friend who is Grieving

Grief impacts many different parts of a person. It can change how we act, our emotions, how we hang out, or even how our bodies feel. If a friend or someone in your class has experienced a death, it can be di cult to know how to support them. You might even be asking, “Do they want me to ask about their person?” It’s important to remember; no two losses are the same. While there is no “one size, fits all” way to support a friend, this guide will provide helpful reminders, compassionate language, and ways to give your friend space to share their grief.

Download this Resource.

Children’s Grief Toolkit

Children’s Grief Toolkit

As part of the partnership, the NACG has provided a resource toolkit for professionals and families.

The toolkit includes:

  • Memorials & Rituals
    Grief is an intricate collection of emotions that can weave through the fabric of our lives. While grief is often associated with adulthood, it is important to acknowledge the presence of grief within the hearts of children. End of life memorials and rituals can be difficult for a child to fully understand or participate in, but there are ways to aid them through this process. Download Children and End of Life Memorials/Rituals for more.
  • Creating Space
    Attending a funeral can be a profoundly challenging and emotionally charged experience for people of all ages. However, when it comes to children, the weight of grief and the unfamiliarity of funeral homes can make the process even more overwhelming. Therefore, it is crucial to create a safe and supportive environment for children within funeral homes. Download Creating Space for Children in a Funeral Home for more.
NACG logo

Tips for Talking About Grief

When talking to children about a death, it is important to ask them about their experiences and feelings. In the video, childhood bereavement expert Ryan Loiselle, LISW-S, shares his thoughts on the importance of honesty. He encourages us to ask the child to share instead of making assumptions about their grief.

Ways for Children to Participate in End-of-Life Memorials and Rituals

When talking to children about the death of someone in their life, it is crucial to be honest with them. Childhood bereavement expert, Pamela Gabbay of the Compassionate Friends, provides insight on the importance honesty and why it matters when having these conversations with children.

NACG Find Support Map Directory

Enter your zip code in the NACG Find Support Map Directory to access support service providers in your community who serve children, teens, and their families who are grieving.

Resources on Children’s Grief

Resources on Children’s Grief

NACG logo

In the Spring of 2022, the Tribute Foundation Board approved a partnership with the National Alliance for Children’s Grief (NACG). The NACG is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them. Through their members’ and partners’ collective voices, they educate, advocate, and raise awareness about childhood bereavement. The NACG is a nationwide network comprised of professionals, institutions, and volunteers who promote best practices, educational programming, and critical resources to facilitate the mental, emotional, and physical health of grieving children and their families.

“We’re pleased to continue this partnership,” said Michael J. Gorton, Jr., CFSP, NYS Tribute Foundation Chair. “The partnership started with a session at Convention and then an educational webinar in the fall, both receiving tremendous feedback. This toolkit is just another resource designed to help our members effectively provide grief support for children experiencing loss.”

As part of the partnership, the NACG has provided a resource toolkit for professionals and families. Visit our Resources page to learn more.


Find Support Map Directory

Enter your zip code in the NACG Find Support Map Directory to access support service providers in your community who serve children, teens, and their families who are grieving.

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