Can you suggest resources to support children who have an ill or dying friend or family member, or who have experienced the death of someone close to them?

We suggest that you start by reading Talking with Children and Youth About Serious Illness, in the Topics section of our website. This article, written by our clinical team, will give you basic information on how to reach out to children who have someone close to them who is ill or dying. Our Books, Links, and More section lists a number of resources specifically aimed at children, and also includes a list of resources for adults supporting children.

Here are some resources that others have found helpful.

Online resources:

  • The BC Cancer Agency’s Cancer in My Family - My Anything But Ordinary Journey website offers a creative tool to help children explore their feelings about a family member who is ill. This resource also helps parents support their children as they work through their questions and emotions about a family member’s cancer, and gain understanding about the disease.
  • Hospice Calgary‘s website features articles about children’s responses to illness and loss.
  • Nanaimo Community Hospice Society’s webpage Grief Support for Children offers online, child-centred grief brochures and handbooks, such as Children and Grief and In the Schools.
  • BC Children’s Hospital has created an extensive series of pamphlets tailored for those supporting toddlers and school-age children on a wide range of topics such as Talking about Death and Talking about Funerals and Memorials
  • Max and Beatrice Wolfe Children's Centre in Toronto provides online resources to help you support children and youth who have someone close to them who is dying or has died.

Phone resource:

  • Kids Help Phone is a toll-free, 24-hour French and English service that offers anonymous phone counselling, referral and Internet services for children and teens.


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