Working in Childhood Bereavement

St Christopher's CARE


9 months (commencing September 2021)
Level 5: £1980
Level 7: £2700
All prices include VAT
St Christopher’s Hospice and live online
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"There is no doubt that the childhood bereavement course gave me the experience and academic underpinning that led directly to my role with SeeSaw."

Helen Mackinnon, Director of SeeSaw

A unique nine-month programme designed to support people experienced at working with bereaved children and their families to take their practice to the next level, linking theory to practice and providing the tools for those looking to develop or extend services

  • What will I learn?

    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.

    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

  • Who is it for?

    The programme is open to anyone experienced in working with bereaved children and their families in education, health or social care. Students looking to complete the Advanced Certificate require a degree.

    For more full details of the programme, including resources, potential funding and how to apply, download the Information Pack. Applications must be sent to by 1 July 2021.

  • Course tutors

    Guest lectures will be given by expert practitioners from related disciplines, including:

    • David Trickey, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Anna Freud Centre
    • Alison Penny, Director, Childhood Bereavement Network
    • Linda McEnhill, Founder of Palliative Care for People with Learning Difficulties Network & CEO Ardgowan Hospice
    • Sacha Richardson, Director of therapeutic services, Terapia. Former senior leadership positions at Winston’s Wish and The Laura Centre
    • Dr Elizabeth Rolls, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Gloucestershire

    Isobel Bremner Candle Child Bereavement Service Lead

    Isobel Bremner trained and worked as a social worker in London Local Authorities with children and families for 14 years.  Since 1994 she has worked at St Christopher’s Hospice as a social worker, trainer, supervisor, manager of the social work and bereavement service, and a childhood bereavement worker. She currently leads St Christopher’s Candle Child Bereavement Service and the Middlesex University accredited Childhood Bereavement Course.

    Judy Debenham Candle Child Bereavement Service Worker

    Judy Debenham originally trained as a teacher and worked in several secondary schools in London as a foreign languages teacher. She also worked for the ILEA Education Welfare Service in a Truancy Unit and on a Traveller Site. In 2003 she started a part time counselling training course and is now a BACP Accredited Counsellor and a qualified supervisor. In this capacity she worked in a London primary school for Place to Be, in several secondary schools as a school counsellor as well as in the Counselling Service at Goldsmiths College. She also worked and supervised in two adult bereavement services and helped to run a child bereavement service in north London. She joined the Candle team in 2008 and contributes to the Childhood Bereavement Course as well as the St Christopher’s CARE training courses on childhood bereavement.

  • What will the course look like?

    A range of bereavement training days are available, but most are aimed at people new to the field. This programme, run by St Christopher’s Hospice Candle Child Bereavement Service and Hospice UK since 2004, and accredited by Middlesex University, is unique in providing an opportunity for experienced professionals and volunteers to consolidate and extend their practice, learn new skills, receive recognition for existing experience and training and learn how to set up and develop a childhood bereavement service. Key to the programme is supporting learners to put academic theory into practice.

    Students will complete the course, which is a mix of in-person and online learning, over nine months. This includes two two-day sessions, at the beginning and end of the course, at St Christopher’s Hospice’s brand new Centre for Awareness and Response to End of Life (CARE), and six one-day monthly online sessions, on Fridays from October 2021-March 2022.

    While the course demands serious commitment, with extended essays, learning reviews and presentations on top of the teaching days, the St Christopher’s tutors are committed to supporting all students throughout the course to ensure they achieve their goals, whether that’s a certificate (level 5) or advanced certificate (level 7). The course does not offer a counselling qualification.

    For more full details of the programme, including resources, potential funding and how to apply, download the Information Pack. Applications must be sent to by 1 July 2021.

  • Programme

    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

    In-person learning at St Christopher’s Hospice:

    • 11am-5pm Thursday 16 September
    • 9am-4.30pm Friday 17 September
    • 9am-5pm Thursday 28 April
    • 9am-3.30pm Friday 29 April

    Live online sessions:

    • 15 October 2021
    • 12 November 2021
    • 10 December 2021
    • 14 January 2022
    • 11 February 2022
    • 18 March


    • Friday 10 June 2021 Submission of 5000 word extended essay (Module 5, Level 7 only)

    For more full details of the programme, including resources, potential funding and how to apply, download the Information Pack. Applications must be sent to by 1 July 2021.

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If you have any questions about this or any of our other courses, please contact the Education team who will be happy to help

020 8768 4656

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We have a well-established programme of high quality, cutting-edge, specialist palliative care education, designed for those working in the UK and internationally.
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St Christopher’s Education Centre and VAT charges

At St Christopher's, a registered charity, it is important for us to maximise any surpluses to reinvest in the objectives of the charity.

Unfortunately, the manner in which we undertake our training currently means we are not able to invest as much of our surplus as possible, therefore from the 1 December 2017, St Christopher’s Education Centre will charge VAT at the standard rate on our training courses, the reason for this change in pricing is twofold:

i) We want to be able to reinvest any surpluses made from training back into all of our charitable objectives rather than only Education

ii) We want to be able to reclaim the VAT on costs relating to developing and running the training courses