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Conference tackles topic of children and grief

KITCHENER - Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region (BFO-MR) is tackling the topic of how to best support grieving children at their biennial conference.

A line up of professionals will provide people in “the helping professions” with tools and tactics they can use to help children cope with the death of a parent, sibling or other loss, officials say.

“Feedback from our past conferences pointed towards a need to tackle this topic,” says Jaime Bickerton, BFO-MR executive director.

“Whether your career involves working with children, or you are parenting a child who is grieving, it can be challenging to know how best to support them. The natural inclination is to protect them from difficult emotions, which can lead to bigger problems down the road.”

The conference features a keynote presentation on Oct. 26 and a full day of learning on Oct. 27.

Guests have the option to register for the Thursday keynote only for $20, or both the Thursday evening and full day Friday for $125.

The conference is being held at The Family Centre (65 Hanson Ave., Kitchener). Speakers and topics include:

- Andrea Warnick, RN, MA, educator, grief counsellor, Thursday keynote address from 7 to 9pm on balancing joy and sorrow: supporting children who are grieving a death, and Friday session on preparing children for death, dying rituals and emerging trends in contemporary literature;

- Shelley Hermer, MSW, RSW, program coordinator, Camp Kerry (Ontario), Friday session on sibling response in bereavement;

- Lori Ives-Baine, RN, BScN, MN (CPB), grief support coordinator, SickKids, Friday session on engaging children in remembering their loved one after a death; and

- Susan Cadell, MSW, PhD, professor school of social work, Renison University College University of Waterloo and Melissa Reid, MSW, RSW clinical social worker, Calming Tree Counselling, Friday session on exploring the implementation, format, and benefits of a professionally-led children’s grief support program.

BFO-MR is currently accepting conference registrations online at

October 13, 2017


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