Frequently Asked Questions

What is the primary focus of the Children’s Grief Centre?

The Children’s Grief Centre is the centre for excellence in grief counselling and programs for families with children and teens. We provide counselling, support, and education to families living with a life-threatening illness or sudden death related to any cause. Services include individual and family grief counselling, group support, and online resources.

What are the qualifications of the staff on your team?

The team consists of specialized child and adolescent grief counsellors with graduate degrees and qualifications in social work, counselling psychology, and art and play therapy. The varied experience and training of our counsellors meet the unique needs of each family.

Who are your clients?

Our Children’s Grief Centre is for families with children who are 19 years old and younger who have someone in their lives who is facing an advanced illness or grieving after a death.

How can I access your services?

As a teacher or school staff, you can access information and support on our website, www.childrensgriefcentre.ca, and by phone at 403-263-4525. We understand that days in a school are busy, and we also have an email consult service for you to access the support and information you need. Reach out to us at consult@childrensgriefcentre.ca.

For families to access our services, invite parents or guardians to call us at 403-263-4525. If this is challenging for families, consider offering them the possibility to make the call from the school. Your presence may make this easier for them. They can also book an intake with us online anytime day or night through our partnership with Community Connect YYC, www.communityconnectyyc.ca/grief-supports.

Is there a fee for service?

We operate on a sliding scale fee. We never refuse service due to financial circumstances.

How do you help when a family member or friend has died or has an advanced illness?

We help clients talk openly about the illness or death and explore how the whole family is impacted. They learn about the process of grief, and this often enables them to normalize their experience. The counsellors help families adjust to the changes in their lives. As families develop positive coping strategies and skills, they feel more hopeful. Through our bereavement groups, children, teens and parents or caregivers feel connected to others, less isolated, and develop a sense of belonging. We act as advocates for families when necessary and provide resources.

Do you only offer family support when a family member is at the end of life?

No. The counsellors support families when someone is receiving active treatment. Anytime you see children or teens struggling to make sense of a life-threatening illness in the family, it is appropriate to refer. It is helpful to have as much time as possible to work with the family. Building positive, supportive relationships before a death occurs can improve bereavement outcomes. Our involvement with the family is always responsive to their changing needs over a short or long period.

Is the Children’s Grief Centre the right place for children, teens, and families after a sudden traumatic death?

Yes. Our counsellors are skilled in working with children, teens, and their families grieving due to a sudden death such as homicide, suicide, or accident. We have a trauma-informed approach throughout our Centre and use a trauma-centred approach in counselling. We provide support for as long as required.

What services do you provide?

  • We provide individual and family counselling support at our Children’s Grief Centre, in the community (including schools) and on a secure online platform.
  • We have age-appropriate grief groups for children and teens.
  • We work in collaboration with teachers and school counsellors to provide optimal support to families.
  • We provide support in the event of a tragic or sudden loss that may be impacting students in your school or community.
  • We offer consultation to school staff and professionals
  • We are developing an online resource specifically for schools to increase knowledge, skills, and capacity to support grieving students (to be launched at the 2022 Teachers Conventions)

Do you offer education and consultation for teachers?

Yes. Our professional counsellors facilitate our workshops for teachers and other professionals on child and adolescent grief. We customize our education sessions to meet the needs of professionals from Lunch & Learns to PD days.

What resources are available to teachers and support staff?

Over the years, the Children’s Grief Centre has heard consistent feedback from families and teachers that more support is needed for grieving students within the school environment. We are developing online resources specifically for schools to increase knowledge, skills, and capacity to support grieving students in response to that need. We aim to launch the Grief in my Backpack school resource at the 2022 Teachers Conventions.

For more information:

Visit our website at www.childrensgriefcentre.ca for upcoming workshops and resources and follow us on social media for the latest news and resources.

Instagram: @childrensgriefca | Twitter: @childrensgrief