Back to all Conference

‘Funeral Tips for Kids’ – A resource evolved from therapeutic sibling bereavement care

Oral Presentation

October 13th 2022 at 2:30pm

Institution: Very Special Kids - Victoria, Australia


The death of a sibling is a life-altering event for every child and young person. The experience of illness, death and grief is unique for each sibling within their personal family system. Support needs in bereavement vary and opportunities for siblings to have those needs met requires reflexive and responsive practice. Play-based counselling informed by the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) seeks to provide children with a safe therapeutic space to address their loss and grief in a child-led, capacity-building, ethically responsible and respectful way.



To showcase a resource created in the therapeutic space as a result of incorporating the UNCRC within loss and grief practice to provide a safe and therapeutic environment for a bereaved sibling to explore and express their grief needs in ways that are important and purposeful to them, allowing the clinician to meet the child where they are at in their bereavement experience.



‘Funeral Tips for Kids’ is a resource created out of the therapeutic space, from the perspective and lived experience of a bereaved sibling. Play-based counselling informed by rights-based practice presents children with a framework to explore their grief in ways that make sense to them. Play is the universal language of children and takes many forms. Additionally, The Lundy Model of spacevoiceaudience, and influence articulates Article 12 of the convention for practice, and informed the process of shaping this resource.


This child-led project is an example of how reflexive, child-led bereavement support in paediatric palliative care can create a meaningful working alliance and responsive care. Accessing frameworks that support the individual child, such as play-based counselling and rights-based practice reduce the power dynamic between child and adult, encourages respectful curiosity and wonder, and acknowledges children as the rightful experts of their grief experience.


  • Ms Meg Chin

    Family Support Team Leader - Very Special Kids

    Read More