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Going Home - Supporting rural families after the death of a child/adolescent

Oral Presentation

October 13th 2022 at 3:30pm

Institution: The Willow Tree Foundation - Victoria, Australia

Australia's hospices for children recognise that best practice care after death involves creating an environment where families can stay connected to their deceased child. Often this occurs in a hospice located in a capital city and relies on families wanting to stay in that hospice after their child has died.  A service gap has been recognised. That is, a lack of choices available to families in regional or rural areas.
In order to remain close to their deceased child, rural families either have to stay in the city or leave sooner than they wish due to their home being a long distance away.
So ‘The Going Home Project’ was born.  The project recognised bringing the deceased child to their own home is an option for some, however this is not always practical for all families.
Having learnt from listening to the stories of families managing this time, it was common to hear that they found the lack of appropriate spaces close to home problematic. The Going Home Project wants to assist by leading best practice care to facilitate more flexible arrangements for grieving families from rural and regional areas.
This project believes that linking with a regional hospice as a home away from home for families after a child has died, helps overcome the distances rural and regional families face.
A facility that is closer to home removes the hardship of having to travel great distances and
offers a family flexibility. Ultimately families are supported by being able to stay close to their deceased child and home.


  • Libby Moloney

    The Willow Tree Foundation

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  • Mrs Naomi Lettieri

    Community Liaison Nurse - Anam Cara House Colac

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