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Wednesday, 04 October 2017

Social work conference aims to address challenges of children coping with bereavement

Written by The Editorial Team

The subject of children facing death or a bereavement in their family will be discussed at the University of Chichester next month.

A conference, on Friday 20 October, will explore how young people cope with terminal illness based on assessments by researchers and leading organisations and charities. It is intended for practitioners working with or supporting children who are facing life-shortening diseases, their own death, or who have lost a relative.

Organiser Marie Price, a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Chichester, has planned the day-long event to share knowledge and provide a forum for networking. She said: “If children are not able to manage their grief when they are young it presents itself again when they are adults, particularly when they have children of their own.

“Talking about death is difficult but it is becoming more acceptable. It is often adults who have concerns rather than the children themselves. Children are more open to talking about their fears and anxieties then we often realise.”

The conference will include workshops, talks and presentations to share knowledge, encourage discussion and develop dialogue around death and bereavement. Among the speakers is Sacha Richardson, a psychotherapist and director of national charity Winston’s Wish, who will discuss the importance of developing a culture which talks openly about death and bereavement among children.

He will be joined by Rosie Mather of Child Bereavement UK whose lecture will explore the work the organisation undertakes in areas of extreme deprivation throughout the country, and why poverty can create additional problems for grieving families. The conference will also be attended by Annette Lawrence Owen, the lead nurse in West Sussex for sudden and unexpected child death.

The event, which runs from 10am to 4pm, is being hosted at the University’s Bognor Regis campus and tickets cost £30 available from:

To find out more about the conference email Marie Price at