Bereavement Services

Following the loss of a loved one, people may find that they may require emotional, practical and/or financial support. Everyone may cope differently, for example, some people may withdraw from their friends and family while others may rely on outside support available to them. It is important to recognise that there is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a child.

The Childhood Cancer Association has a variety of services available to assist families following the loss of their loved one.

Funeral Assistance

The loss of a child can leave families in need of financial assistance, particularly with regards to the unexpected costs of a funeral. Some financial assistance is available to assist with these costs.

For more information about this, please speak with the Family Service Team or your Social Worker.

Bereavement Counselling

Bereavement counselling may be able to assist to support you and your family following the loss of a loved one.

Counselling is available to all members of the family, including parents/caregivers, siblings, grandparents and other people who were involved in the direct care of the child who died.

For further information, please refer to the Counselling page. To book an appointment please contact the Family Service Team on (08) 8239 2211.

Support Groups

The Childhood Cancer Association has a range of support groups available to families to assist them with the grieving process. Please note that the availability of various groups is dependent upon demand.

Bereaved Parents/Caregivers Support Group

The death of a child can be one of the most challenging life experiences a parent has to face. Particular challenges may include adapting to life without your child, reintegration into the community (e.g. recommencing work) and continuing to care for other children and assisting them with their grief.

Parents/Caregivers report that it can sometimes be difficult to discuss how they are feeling about/coping with the loss of their child with their family and other people from their broader social networks.

The Bereaved Parents/Caregivers Support Group recognises that it can be beneficial to connect with other adults who have faced a similar situation. Parents/Caregivers meet throughout the year with others who understand and share the grief of losing their own child through cancer, to connect, share stories and to explore feelings around their loss. The support group is facilitated by the Family Service Counsellors.

2024 Diary Dates

  • Tuesday, 20 February
  • Sunday, 24 March (Special Families Day)
  • Tuesday, 21 May
  • Tuesday, 27 August
  • Tuesday, 26 November

Bereaved Grandparents Group

When a grandparent loses a grandchild to cancer, they are faced with the unique situation of not only coping with their own grief, but also with supporting and assisting their child and other family members. Their role is often unique in that they often provide important support in many areas of family life.

The Bereaved Grandparents group is designed for grandparents who have experienced the death of a grandchild from cancer, enabling them to share and explore their feelings of grief. This is an informal group facilitated by the Family Service Counsellors. The group meets bi-monthly, for a morning tea held at a central meeting place. Occasionally, the group might meet at alternative locations around Adelaide for special outings, i.e. a Christmas luncheon.

    2024 Diary Dates

    • Tuesday, 13 February
    • Sunday, 24 March (Special Families Day)
    • Tuesday, 28 May
    • Tuesday, 23 July
    • Tuesday, 17 September
    • Tuesday, 3 December

    Special Families Day

    This is an event for all family members (e.g. parents/caregivers, siblings, grandparents and others involved in the direct care of the child) to get together and celebrate the life of the child who has passed. It provides families with an opportunity to meet others who have also experienced the loss of a child to cancer.

    The day includes fun and memory making activities, afternoon tea, a poem reading and the blowing of bubbles to remember the children who have died.

    2024 Diary Date: Sunday, 24 March (rsvp by 1 March)

    Bradley's Place

    Bradley's Place, our respite accommodation, continues to be available to families who have lost a child to cancer. This provides important space for the family to take time out and be together. Some families find it beneficial to stay at the accommodation during and around important dates, anniversaries or memorials. Please note, some conditions do apply.

    For further information, please refer to the Accommodation page.

    Other Special Events

    Throughout the year, we are also very fortunate that through the generosity of our many supporters, we sometimes receive complimentary tickets for families to attend events, concerts and sporting matches in Adelaide. We endeavour to distribute any tickets in a fair manner based on the needs of our families at that particular time.

    The first 48 hours: after your child died

    The booklet, The First 48 hours: after your child died, contains information for families, friends and support networks to get you through the first 48 hours and how to access longer-term support.

    Download the booklet

    Further Information

    For further information about any of these support services, please contact the Family Service Team on (08) 8239 2211 or via the Contact Us page.

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