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Supporting families and their communities – extending the net of support

Oral Presentation

October 14th 2022 at 10:30am

Institution: Very Special Kids - Victoria, Australia

Our organisation provides palliative care for children and young people with life limiting conditions and tailored support for their families – from diagnosis, through life, death and bereavement. Our integrated approach includes emotional, clinical and practical support to improve quality of life and create positive, lasting memories.
Through our work, we have listened, and we have learned. Families are often overwhelmed on their palliative care journey. Sometimes they wish that their family, friends, and community knew more about how to support them without increasing the burden. Dealing with the imminent death of a child is so foreign for many and their extended families, friends, and communities often feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin in offering the “right” support. In recognising this gap for families and the impact that a lack of support or the ‘wrong’ support can have on them, we decided to act. As an organisation we have listened to the feedback from families with lived experience and designed a resource kit for extended family, friends, and communities.
The aim for this resource is to help lead and guide them so that they can offer appropriate support during a challenging time, as well as provide valuable information in helping them to cope with their own grief. Every family is different, and what they need is different, but a basic guide we know is a good place to start for those unsure what to do and what to say to a family in need. We will explore and share with you the resource kit and how it may benefit those you support.


  • Ms Angela Flood

    Family Support Practitioner - Very Special Kids

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  • Edwina Hargreaves

    Family Support Practitioner - Very Special Kids

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