Practitioners should not assume grief automatically requires specialised professional assistance. Generally people who are grieving are helped most by their family (Parkes & Prigerson, 2010, p95). Young people who are grieving can derive benefit from establishing or making the most of naturally occurring support networks in their lives.
Where a young person is connected to family, providing information and support to their network can be extremely helpful. Other relationships of significance, like those with helpful friends, partners, teachers and coaches should be resourced in a similar way.
The source of loss may indeed be in the family as in cases where a family member has died. Family relationships may be a source of comfort and a resource for the young person in situations where it is possible for the experience of grief to be acknowledged. However in situations where other family members are themselves experiencing grief, the whole family may be experiencing individual and collective struggles with grief.
Alternatively, family members may not consider the circumstances causing distress for the young person significant enough to warrant a grief reaction. For example, it has been observed that adults often underestimate the impact of relationship ruptures for young people (Rowling, 2002). This can leave the young person feeling isolated and experiencing disenfranchised grief. Practitioners need to adapt to the unique circumstances of each family in regard to grief.
F2. Information provision
This element assists with providing family members with the services and contact being maintained with the young person.
F3. Collaborating with families and caregivers
Family members and caregivers can be encouraged to participate in an active collaboration with a service to assist the young people that they care for to resolve problems and achieve goals. This element provides practical guidance on how families and caregivers can be engaged in a collaborative relationship.