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Children, young people and adults tell us about their priorities in bereavement now.

With an expected general election due in 2024, the Childhood Bereavement Network and the National Bereavement Alliance ran three surveys to find out the current priorities for bereaved children (those aged 5-12), young people (those aged 13-18) and adults.

Using the recommendations from the UK Commission on Bereavement, each survey was tailored to age, and experience. Distributed to children and young people during Children’s Grief Awareness Week 2023, and to adults during National Grief Awareness Week 2023, the surveys were open for approximately six weeks, before closing in early January 2024.

You read about the findings in our publication ‘What’s Important to You?’ below. Here are some of the main findings from across the three surveys.

Children and young people believed in the importance of strong signposting and accessibility of support:

  • 88% of the children who responded strongly agreed(94% agreed or strongly agreed) and 63% of young people who responded strongly agreed(91% agreed or strongly agreed) that a family should automatically be told about the organisations that can help after a bereavement.  
  • 82% of the children who responded strongly agreed (94% agreed or strongly agreed) and 73% of young people that responded strongly agreed (91% agreed or strongly agreed) that everyone should be able to get help to talk about their feelings and cope with their grief if they need it.

Children also thought that time off work for surviving parents or carers was essential, while young adults wanted better support at school when dealing with a bereavement.

Adults were frustrated by the lengthy delays and processes commonly found when dealing with the administration of estates:

  • 72% of adult respondents strongly agreed (91% agreed or strongly agreed) that the Government, businesses, and services should have clear customer service standards and processes so that bereaved customers are treated well.

Adults also valued the normalisation of grief, the feelings and reactions associated with bereavement, with 68% of adult respondents strongly agreed(91% agreed or strongly agreed) we should talk more about death, dying and bereavement, with the Government funding projects to help create compassionate communities around bereaved people and families. Other top ranked recommendations spoke to improved support for children and young people in educational settings; more support from employers including paid time off and better funded bereavement support.

Read more about our findings in the document below.