Children, Bereavement, and Trauma: Nurturing Resilience

Children, Bereavement, and Trauma: Nurturing Resilience

Children, Bereavement, and Trauma: Nurturing Resilience

Children, Bereavement, and Trauma: Nurturing Resilience

Synopsis

Deriving from the authors' experience of working with bereaved children after the Hillsborough disaster, the book advocates a model of practice which is based on their findings.

Excerpt

Paul Barnard and Ian Morland

The claim of Liverpool Children’s Project is to have developed a
model of practice which does not pathologize children’s reactions
to trauma and bereavement, but recognizes the child’s ordinary life
as a place for recovery, growth and development.

Liverpool Children’s Project, Action Plan 1995

Our wish in this introduction is to set the scene for this book by describing its historical background, and so the origin of our work in Liverpool will be outlined. Our aim, throughout, is to share with the reader something of what we learned whilst working with bereaved children from 1989 to the closure of Liverpool Children’s Project in June 1998. As well as working with children, we always aimed to disseminate information to other agencies and individuals: this book is an example of our efforts to do that. We hope readers will find something of value here for their own future work.

The opening quotation summarizes the claim which we made, to have found a novel way of working which helped children to cope whilst respecting their identity as children and not as clients or patients. Their identities – and their rights – as children are easily overlooked once the machinery of professionalism is wheeled out in response to an incident. One of Paul Barnard’s early questions in undertaking bereavement work was, ‘Where are the children in this?’ – as adults coped in the aftermath of disaster, the children . . .

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