Vision, Mission and Principles

mum and girl on grass
Girl at tree

The Vision, Mission and Principles of the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network were developed in consultation with bereavement professionals working in Ireland, who took part in the initial scoping study into the feasibility of such a network. They reflect the core values of the sector.


We strengthen, support and provide added value to the work of our members, whilst respecting their diversity, to improve bereavement support for children, young people and those who support them.


All ICBN members have a role in making this vision a reality.  Through subscription to the ICBN, members aim to collaborate to:

  • Increase access to bereavement information, guidance and support services relevant to children and young people;
  • Share their expertise, knowledge and experience to inform and support others;
  • Improve the range and quality of bereavement support available to children, young people and those caring for them.

As a network, we will:

  • Respect the diversity of our members;
  • Be a listening and learning network;
  • Inform our work by the experience of children, young people, their families and those supporting them;
  • Ground our approaches in evidence from research;
  • Add value to our members work;
  • Work collaboratively, both nationally and internationally.


As members, we share the following eleven principles when working with bereaved children and young people:

We acknowledge the child or young person’s entitlement to grieve and to have their grief validated;

We do not seek to protect children from loss and grief, but strive to facilitate their grief in a manner that promotes self-esteem and self-confidence, and develops communication, decision making and other life skills;

We locate the child within their personal environment (family, religion, culture) and consider these factors before making any intervention;

We ensure that appropriate family permission and involvement is seen as an integral part of the service we provide to children;

We promote resilience in children;

We acknowledge that grief is a normal response while also being aware of conditions or symptoms that may lead to difficulties in grief needing more formal intervention;

Before intervening with a child we consider the advantages and disadvantages of utilising any intervention, drawing on evidence based practice and/or standards where available;

We work within our own competency and refer as appropriate;

We are aware of issues pertaining to working with minors and adhere to safe, ethical and legal standards of practice and conduct;

We have a clinical supervisor and colleagues with whom we can consult;

We continue to update our skills, keeping abreast of new developments in the area of children and loss whilst monitoring our own service and outcomes.




Supporting parents, guardians and professionals who care for grieving children and young people is kindly supported by
© The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network - 2013