What we do...
A Child Of Mine is here to help and support anyone affected by the death of a child, in as many ways as we possibly can. Our website will always continue to be a main focus as a valuable resource for families after a child's death, but as time has moved on A Child Of Mine has grown too, and we now do much more work behind the scenes to improve bereavement care for parents and families who have lost a child.
West Midlands bereavement group
We are part of a multi agency bereavement group in the West Midlands, set up to ensure equitable bereavement supportive information is available after the death of a child, whether the child's death was sudden, unexpected or, expected. The group looks at ways of improving and streamlining bereavement provision to babies, children and young people under 18. We provide information to General Practitioners and health care professionals to enable them to support and signpost parents and carers. The group meets monthly and feeds back into the Child Death Overview Panel on its progress and recommendations for good practice after a child's death.
A Child Of Mine also works closely with several of the major children's hospitals across England, and provides our literature to support bereaved families. Our material is supported by Birmingham Children's, Alder Hey and Great Ormond Street hospitals and several of the hospitals within Barts Health NHS Trust. We are also involved in various projects across the trust and participate in regular staff 'when a child dies" staff study days at Birmingham Children's Hospital; where we talk about our own personal experiences.
Local Children's Hospice
We are extremely proud to host our local Childrens Hospices" memory day, put on each year for families who have lost a child. The hour long service is a beautiful tribute to all the children remembered, and includes poems, songs, lighting of candles and time for reflection. Memory day truly is a very special afternoon with activities for other siblings too, so the whole family can be involved and also stand side by side with others who have walked the same path.
We have also recently started a children's bereavement alliance in Staffordshire in partnership with the children's hospice and a few other local organisations. The group is young but it's main objectives will be to improve service provision and access to the right service at the right time for children and families across the county. By working together we can share best practice, knowledge and wisdom and generally improve the outcome for families who need support.
Working with healthcare professionals is absolutely vital to the key aims of A Child Of Mine. Bereavement care is improving after a child has died but, there are still many gaps that exist and there is always more that can be done. We are passionate about working together with other agencies like, Clinical Commissioning Groups, regional Child Death Overview Panel co-ordinators, Children's Community Nursing teams and Midwifery for example, to improve their care, make recommendations and share good practice and information to parents and carers.
We have already started to increase our work with more Children's Hospitals across the country and we are continuously looking at other ways to improve support for bereaved parents. We are also pleased that professionals are now recognising that care is not always needed immediately after the death of a child, but should be available when a family needs it, whether that is immediately after death or if it is 1, 4 or 10 years later.