OUR RESOURCES

72% of children have trouble concentratinng at school after a loved one has died.

HANDBOOKS

Supporting Children and Youth

handbook for volunteers english
handbook for volunteers french
handbook for supporters

Handbook to Support Children:
A HANDBOOK FOR VOLUNTEERS: 
SUPPORTING CHILDREN GRIEVING THE DYING AND DEATH OF A LOVED ONE
(available in English and French)

Handbook to Support Youth:
A HANDBOOK FOR SUPPORTERS: EXTENDING COMPASSION & CARE TO GRIEVING YOUTH
(available in English)

These handbooks are intended for volunteers and professionals who have received formalized training in the field of children and youth grief support.

As a supporter, you play a very important role in a child’s life – the work you do will not only serve them in their grief, but will help them to cope with other challenges that they might face in their lives.

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REQUEST
THE HANDBOOKS

Grief and Death

EDUCATION TOOLKIT FOR SCHOOL SETTINGS

grief and death education toolkit english

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REQUEST
THE GRIEF AND DEATH EDUCATION TOOLKIT,
ENGLISH VERSION

grief and death education toolkit french

CLIQUEZ ICI POUR

DEMANDER

LA TROUSSE D’OUTILS D’EDUCATION SUR
LE DEUIL ET LA MORT.
VERSION FRANCAISE

This Toolkit is an initiative is to help educators feel more comfortable addressing concepts of death and grief within the school setting.  

It includes an outline of death education, lesson plans, tip sheets, and resource lists that compliment Ontario curriculum standards for grades 4-10.

The French version of this resource is now available for ordering.

The French translation of this resource is only available for PDF download and NOT available for hard copy.

This Toolkit is an initiative is to help educators feel more comfortable addressing concepts of death and grief within the school setting.  

It includes an outline of death education, lesson plans, tip sheets, and resource lists that compliment Ontario curriculum standards for grades 4-10.

The French version of this resource is now available for ordering.

The French translation of this resource is only available for PDF download and NOT available for hard copy.

Family Day

TOOLKIT

This resource was put together after the CYGN launched their first two family day programs in 2017. We compiled all of the planning resources, documents and learnings into one file so that other communities can hopefully deliver a similar program in a more streamlined way.

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REQUEST
THE FAMILY DAY
TOOLKIT

family day toolkit

E-LEARNING COURSE

Weathering the Storm: Parenting Grieving Children

children and youth grief network e learning course

This interactive e-learning course was created in partnership with the CYGN and the Family Education Centre and was developed using the content of the CYGN Handbooks.

The grief e-course has been created to support the caregivers of grieving children and youth and help them navigate the challenges of providing care after someone has died.

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ACCESS

THE INTERACTIVE
E-LEARNING COURSE

HANDBOOK ACTIVITIES FOR SHARING

These activities have been extracted from The Handbook for Volunteers and the Handbook for Supporters. Activities are available for download in order to share to share with families and community partners working in grief and bereavement.

The Calming Jars
Key Learning: To develop emotional literacy and promote self-regulation.
Click here

Coping Toolbox
Key Learning: Promote self-awareness and healthy coping strategies.
Click here

Grief Stack
Key Learning: To cultivate emotional literacy and facilitate sharing.
Click here

HUG
Key Learning: Validate connection between children and youth and the person who is dying. Support opportunities for children and youth to give and receive care and comfort.
Click here

Memory Box
Key Learning: To validate and support an ongoing connection with the person who is dying/ has died.
Click here

Self-Care Spinner
Key Learning: To promote healthy coping strategies and encourage self-care.
Click here

Worry Dolls
Key Learning: To identify and address worries. To promote self regulation.
Click here

TIP SHEETS AND AUDIO PODCASTS

FREE tip sheets and podcasts (available in seven languages – Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, Urdu) were created in Partnership with the Children and Youth Grief Network and the Family Education Centre Downloadable Tip Sheets and Podcasts for Grieving Caregivers include:

1. Communicating with Your Child or Youth about Grief
2. Tips for Recognizing a Grieving Child or Youth
3. The Importance of Self-Care In Helping Youth Child or Youth Grieve
4. Parenting When Your Child or Youth is Grieving

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ACCESS

THESE TIPS SHEETS
AND AUDIO PODCASTS

RESOURCE MAP INFOGRAPHIC

In the Fall of 2017, we created a short, electronic survey to determine the type of grief resources people wanted to access or were likely to use. We distributed the survey link within our networks (on social media, in newsletters, at network events) and summarized the results.

To our delight, many of the preferred resources had already been created by our network partners, or were in the early stages of development. If you are looking for a specific resource, see below for where you can find it!

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RESOURCE MAP

RESOURCE SUMMARY

The following is a full compilation and summary of all resources The Children and Youth Grief Network (CYGN) has developed to date. Please feel free to print this PDF and distribute to those in need.

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RESOURCE SUMMARY

INFORMING A CHILD OF A DEATH POSTCARD

This resource was originally designed by the Children’s Grief Centre at Hospice Calgary for Calgary Victim Services. The post card provides helpful information in regarding to supporting volunteers and professionals in how to inform a child of a death. After submitting a signed partnership agreement, you may wish to personalize the postcard resource with logos/contacts for your regional area. Users are responsible for printing their own copies of this postcard.

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REQUEST PERMISSION TO USE AND ADAPT POSTCARD FOR USE IN YOUR AREA

GRIEF BOOK LIST RECOMMENDATIONS

The value of reading to children is immeasurable and may play an even more critical role for a grieving child. Using stories along with providing creative expressive activities can be a great way to support children and youth experiencing grief and bereavement. Reading together with your child also gives your child a sense of safety, intimacy, a sense of well-being and can be equally as rewarding and bonding for the parent. Youth, adults and parents also benefit greatly from the emotional support that books provide following a death or loss. Books help us all to understand change and the strong emotions that accompany it.

The Children and Youth Grief Network Partners have several book lists that provide the names of books that have been supporting families for many years. These books have received outstanding reviews from the readers and are often used universally and globally to support grieving families. Please check out the links from our CYGN partners below…

Partner’s Book List:
Andrea Warnick Consulting
C. Elizabeth Dougherty Consulting
Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre
The Lighthouse Centre for Grieving Children
Heart House Hospice

CYGN Book Recommendations
To assist you with your search and to help find the right book for you, the Children and Youth Grief Network has chosen the top 3 books in several age categories for your consideration.

Young Children (4-8 yr olds)
– When Dinosaurs Die – By Laurie Kransny
– Lifetimes: A Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children – By Bryan Mellonie
– I Miss You: A First Look at Death By Pat Thomas

Older Children (9-12)
– Children Also Grieve – By Linda Goldman
-Tear Soup: A recipe for Healing After Loss – By Pat Schweibert and Chuck DeKlyen
-The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages – By Leo Buscaglia

Youth (13-18)
-Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers: How to Cope with Losing Someone You Love – By Earl A. Grollman
-The Secret C: Straight Talking About Cancer – By Julie A. Stokes
-The Last Invisible Boy – By Evan Kuhlman

Adults (19 and older)
-When a Parent is Sick: Helping Parents Explain Serious Illness to Children – By Joan Hamilton
– A Parents Guide to Raising Grieving Children – By Phyilis Silverman
-It’s OK that You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand – By Megan Devine

Compassionate Ottawa Literature Review:

Dying, Death, Loss & Grief: Building a Shared Language for School Communities

compassionate ottawa literature review

CANADIAN ALLIANCE FOR GRIEVING CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Grief support organizations and professionals from across Canada join forces to create the Canadian Alliance for Grieving Children and Youth (CAGCY). The Children and Youth Grief Network is a founding member and co-lead for the new alliance. CAGCY is the first Canadian national group of professionals working together to ensure the accessibility of bereavement support and information to grieving children and their families. Resulting from a collaborative effort amongst agencies and service providers across the country, the CAGCY seeks to address the barriers experienced by organizations providing services to grieving children and youth and strengthen the support offered to local communities.
*A national directory of Child Bereavement Support Programs by province and city and build awareness for grief supports available.
*A collective voice across Canada to raise awareness about childhood grief and bereavement
*Share evidence based practical approaches, educational tools and statistics related to child grief and bereavement.
*Educate and advocate on children’s grief and bereavement as part of the palliative care continuum
To access the National Directory of Children’s Grief and Bereavement Support Services click HERE.
For more information visit CAGCY https://www.grievingchildrencanada.org
Follow CAGCY on Social Media @CAGCYORG
CAGCY Facebook
CAGCY Twitter
CAGCY Instagram

KidsGrief.ca – For Educators

Grief in the Classroom – Module One – Chapter 1-6

As an educator, you occupy a central role in the lives of your students. This creates a valuable opportunity for you to teach about dying, death, and grief in ways that normalize and prepare your students for these life experiences. You’re also in a position where you may see signs of a student’s grief expressed verbally or through their behaviours – signs that may be missed by other adults in their lives.

By completing this module, you will:

  • Learn to recognize student grief.
  • Learn how you can incorporate grief education and support into the classroom.
  • Discover ways to support grieving students of various ages and abilities.

Click here to access

Grief in School Setting Tip Sheets

Going back to school can be an exciting yet anxious time for all students. If a child/teen has experienced the death of someone close to them over the summer, or anytime during the year, they may feel extremely nervous and reluctant about returning to class. Every child is different and grieves in their own way but there are a few things you can do to help.

Lighthouse Centre for Grieving (www.grievingchildrenlighthouse.org) children offers free printable tip sheets for educators, school support staff, parents and caregivers to share widely.

  • 20 Things Grieving Students Want Teachers to Know
  • Supporting a Grieving Child or Teen at School
  • Returning to School After a Death – How you Can Help
  • What to Expect for a Grieving Child
  • Supporting a Grandparent Death During a Pandemic
  • Helping Kids to Understand Death and Supporting Their Grief
  • In the Wake of a Tragedy

Click here to access Grief in School Setting Tip Sheets