Childhood bereavement courses

The Working in Childhood Bereavement courses from St Christopher’s Candle and Hospice UK, accredited by Middlesex University. 

Childhood bereavement

Run every two years these courses will offer a Certificate (level 5) or Advanced Certificate (level 7) for those working with bereaved children and their families. The courses are aimed at anyone with experience in working with bereaved children and their families in education, health or social care. While these courses offer a unique opportunity to link theory to practice, they do not offer a counselling qualification.

Next course

The 2021-2022 course is now up and running. The next course will run in 2023/2024.To stay informed please register your interest.

What the courses cover

Working with bereaved children, young people and families

  • Theories of bereavement.
  • Child development, loss through the life cycle and the family context.
  • The death of a child - the family perspective.
  • Pre-bereavement issues.
  • Children bereaved by traumatic death.
  • Assessment issues.
  • Working with individuals, with families and in groups.
  • Brief versus extended interventions, telephone work.

Context and framework

  • Supervision and support.
  • Service development – assessing need and setting up a service.
  • Setting standards for service delivery – record keeping, monitoring and maintaining quality, working with volunteers.
  • Inter-agency working, referral to other services and working with minority groups.
  • Legal issues and report writing.
  • A parent's perspective.
  • Training issues for service providers - resources, methods, and reflective practice.


The course is taught as two modules, on a part-time basis, over nine months. Students are required to attend:

  • Two Thursday and Friday sessions at St Christopher's at the beginning and end of the course.
  • Six Friday sessions being delivered virtually.


Students will be assessed in a variety of ways, including:

  • One 2,000 word assignment.
  • Two learning reviews.
  • A group and an individual practice presentation.
  • An extended essay (for advanced certificate students).
Role Name Title
Programme Leader Isobel Bremner St Christopher's Candle Service Lead
Admissions and Assessment Tutor Anita Hayes Hospice UK
Course administrator Amber Morgan Hospice UK


"There is no doubt that the childhood bereavement course gave me the experience and academic underpinning that led directly to my role with SeeSaw. I would not have been able to manage the complex role of director without this training; I am extremely grateful to all involved"

"I thoroughly recommend the courses to anyone currently working in the field as well as those looking to move into this important and rewarding work."
Helen Mackinnon, Former Director of SeeSaw

"I cannot overstate how much I gained from the 2014/15 level 5 course.The mix of trainers made every day that I attended truly inspirational. Working in a room of people who were daily supporting bereaved families gave the most amazing level of peer support and opportunities for professional development.The academic requirements ensured that I developed what was taught in each session by further reading, thanks to excellent guidance from the librarian at St Christopher’s Hospice."

"It is now a year since we finished the course and every month I refer back to my notes or essays and I have also contacted some of my ‘study buddies’ for advice and suggestions."
Denise Ozanne, a project worker from The Sunflower Project, Barnardos.

Contact us

For further information about the courses please contact the Course Administrator and register your interest.

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