Home Programmes Children’s Palliative Care Children – Education & Information Initiatives

Children – Education & Information Initiatives

Education, training, awareness-raising and provision of information on end-of-life and bereavement care are key elements of the Irish Hospice Foundation’s work.  A number of initiatives in these areas are particularly relevant to the care of children.

Education – Professional Certificate in Children and Loss

When children experience loss through death, parental separation, etc., their needs are often misunderstood or overlooked. Because children may express their grief differently to adults, their reactions may go unrecognised. Run in association with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, this part-time postgraduate certificate course seeks to equip people who work with children with the necessary skills to understand and support children on their grief journey. Since it began, the course has run at full capacity each year, and over 400 people have completed it to date.

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Training – Annual programme of workshops in the IHF

Our extensive annual programme of one/two-day workshops on loss and bereavement include several topics of relevance to the care of children. Examples have included:

  • Children & Loss
  • Bereavement & Loss in Adolescence
  • Schools & Loss
  • Families & Bereavement
  • Parental Grief – Supporting parents following the sudden death of a child.

These workshops, which run from January-July each year, are attended by nurses, social workers, teachers, psychologists and other professionals who work with children.

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Staff development workshops in the hospital setting

Final Journeys is a one-day workshop for staff working in acute hospitals. Originally developed by our Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme, it is designed to help embed the hospice approach to end-of-life care in the culture of care provided in hospitals – including paediatric and maternity hospitals – and particularly to raise staff awareness and enhance communications. To date, over 3,000 hospital staff have taken part in this training.

Final Journeys is complemented by a half-day workshop, Dealing with Bad News, which aims to improve hospital staff’s confidence, competence and communications skills in breaking bad news sensitively to patients and/or families. This course is suitable for all healthcare staff, including doctors.

Library & Information Resources

The Irish Hospice Foundation also houses the Therese Brady Library and information service

The library’s specialist collection is focused on palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care. The library holds a  comprehensive collection of books and resources about childhood bereavement and books for children who have been bereaved.

Membership options are available for professionals working in end-of-life or bereavement care. The library is also open to the public, who can borrow books on bereavement issues as part of our bibliotherapy service.


Our useful brochure of recommended reading  is broken down into subject categories, such as: Grieving the Death of a Child; Children’s Grief; Books for Children (separate reading lists for children under/over the age of 10); Adolescent Grief; Talking to Children about Traumatic Death and The Grieving Family. Short bereavement leaflets on some of the above are also available free of charge.

For further information on any of the above, please call us on 01-6793188 or email: info@hospicefoundation.ie 

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