Skip to main content

For parents / carers

The Swing is the name of our bereavement service which provides support for children, young people and families.

We are a team of professionals who provide individual counselling, family support and group activities to children, young people and their families.

We hope that you find the information we offer useful.

It's never easy to break the news of a death to a child and telling them someone they love has died, it can be one of the worst things a parent or carer has to do.

If a child isn't told what has happened they may be confused and frightened by the changes that are happening.

Therefore it is important that:

They are told as soon as possible that the person has died.
You use the words 'dead' and 'died'.
You use explanations that are simple and use words that they can understand.
You don't uses phrases like 'gone to sleep' 'gone away' as children understand these words in a way that suggests the person will 'wake-up' or 'return'.
You give them the opportunity to be involved in some way.
You are honest whenever possible, even if this means saying 'I can't answer that just now'.

If you need help, seek advice and support.

Remember that children do grieve and that their experience is as unique as your own, and that their behaviour might change as they adjust to life without the deceased.

For more information about supporting a grieving child use the links below.

Useful links
Supporting families and educating professionals when a child dies and when a child is bereaved.
Charity providing support for road crash victims and carers, advice for road users and information exchange for professionals. Their children's book is excellent, available at
On this site they explain how to tell a child about the funeral.

in bed

The Swing - Children / young people's counselling services

We support children, young people and families. Counselling is offered in a variety of different ways in order to meet the individual needs of each client.

Find out more about our children and young people's servicesContact us