Children, Young People & Loss

It is now accepted that children experience grief and loss, and often experience this differently to adults. Children as young as one year old have been observed to grieve.

Grief is a response to loss and can arise through bereavement, the ending of an important relationship (such as a foster care placement), divorce and separation, moving home, moving school or any significant change.

Foster carers also experience grief and loss in response to the ending of placements and other major life changes.


VIDEO The grieving process: coping with death – 4 mins 


VIDEO Talk by Dr Marc Blumberg about helping children deal with grief and loss – 56 mins


Articles & Books

Supporting children after a frightening event

The effects of grief and loss on children in foster care

The effects of grief and loss on one foster parent

The challenges of foster care: grief and loss

Is it grief? Why challenging behaviours may be signs of grieving (written with reference to adopted children, but can also be relevant to children in care)

PDFs of reports

“Don’t call me resilient: what loss and grief look like for children and youth in care” (Canada, 2016)



Organisations and useful websites

Rainbows Ireland
A free, national programme which supports children and young people affected by loss because of bereavement, separation or divorce.


Irish Hospice Foundation