Friday, August 14, 2020

Virtual Series Offers Tips to Parents to Help Children Who are Grieving During COVID-19

Even during a public health crisis, hospice and palliative care professionals rise to the challenge of providing compassionate, person-centered care in the community. Hospice & Community Care created a unique way to help families work through the grief and loss children may feel due to COVID-19. 

In July of 2020, Hospice & Community Care of Rock Hill, South Carolina, launched an educational video series entitled Navigating Children’s Grief During Uncertain Times. The series was created with the help of local expert, Sarah Hopkins, MSW, of Winthrop University’s School of Social Work and a former hospice Bereavement Counselor. The videos are hosted by Sarah and discuss how to support children ages 6-12 years old through the many different losses that they may be experiencing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These video resources are free to the public and are available on the organization’s website. 

“After our Children’s Grief Camp was canceled in June due to Covid 19, we wanted to find an innovative way to offer support to our community,” says Director of Family Services Jenifer Crawford. “We were thrilled to be able to offer this resource to anyone caring for children during these uncertain times and were fortunate to have our local news channel interview us about the series.”

During the educational series, Sarah discusses how to work with children to accept the reality of the losses that they have faced and offers tips on how to discuss the losses with them. She also shares how to support children as they experience the pain that the losses may have imposed and will discuss what emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms of grief that you may be seeing with your child.  There is information on how to help your children adjust to their new world as they navigate their life during the pandemic.  Ms. Hopkins also offers tools for how to support children through the transition back to education.  The final is a Q&A featuring questions sent in by viewers during the first 5 weeks. 

“As an educator and grandparent of students in our local school districts, I have shared Hospice & Community Care’s video series with everyone who comes in contact with a child including teachers, pediatricians, after school and daycare centers, as well as other parents and grandparents," said Cindy Taubenkimel, Director of ParentSMART and the Sylvia Circle Family Learning Center. "The information presented in the videos certainly helps everyone who is providing care for a child as circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 health emergency are constantly changing. We, as caregivers, must educate ourselves in order to help our community’s youth process their feelings, questions and emotions. I am so appreciative to have a resource to share with caregivers during this uncertain time.”

The video series is available on Hospice & Community Care website.

If you would like to share the creative ways your hospice and palliative care team is caring for patients amid the COVID-19 crisis, please send us your photos and stories so you can be featured in the #hapcFacesOfCaring campaign. 

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