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When Kids Are Grieving

When Kids Are Grieving
Addressing Grief and Loss in School

First Edition

Foreword by Kenneth J. Doka

April 2010 | 128 pages | Corwin
This primer on loss and grief helps educators and counsellors understand and respond to the extraordinary challenges that children and adolescents may face when dealing with loss and grief. The book explains how children and adolescents are affected by various forms of loss, such as divorce; loss of a parent, relative, or pet; violence; and chronic illness, and provides specific guidelines and strategies for responding appropriately to expressions of grief that are unique to these age groups.

A reader-friendly sourcebook, When Kids Are Grieving examines children's and adolescents' grief experiences at different developmental levels and provides educators and counsellors with:

- A comprehensive overview of the many dimensions of loss

- Strategies and techniques to help students handle the emotions associated with loss

- A format designed to stimulate thought, promote communication, and facilitate effective interventions

- A collection of helpful charts, quotes, activities, and reproducible handouts.

Foreword by Kenneth J. Doka
About the Author
1. Am I Qualified to Work With Grieving Children?


Reflection Activity

Case Study: How Do I Tell the Children? Part I

Thought Provokers and Issues to Consider

Chapter Reflection

Key Terms

2. What Are the Different Types of Losses and Grief Reactions?

Dimensions of Loss

Anticipatory Grief Versus Unanticipated Grief

PRECEDENT: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Grief Responses

Thought Provokers and Issues to Consider

Chapter Reflection

Key Terms

3. What Do I Need to Know About Children's Grief?

Developmental Processes

What and How Children Grieve

Case Study: How Do I Tell the Children? Part II

Gender Differences

Thought Provokers and Issues to Consider

Chapter Reflection

Key Terms

4. What Do I Need to Know About Adolescents' Grief?

Developmental Processes

Cognitive Factors

Socioemotional Factors

Family and Peers

School, Media, and Technology

How Teens Grieve

Risk-Taking Behaviors and Suicide

Suicide Prevention

Case Study: Reactions to a Classmate's Suicide

Thought Provokers and Issues to Consider

Chapter Reflection

Key Terms

5. What Can I Do to Help Grieving Students?

"But I'm Not a Grief Counselor . . ."

Things You Need to Know First

Things You Can Do

Rituals and Activities

Cultural Considerations


Thought Provokers and Issues to Consider

Chapter Reflection

Key Terms

6. What Are the Elements of School-Based Crisis Response?

School-Based Crisis Response

Crisis Response Team

Skills and Training

Types of Crises

School Crisis Response Plan

Crisis Postvention

Thought Provokers and Issues to Consider

Chapter Reflection

Key Terms

7. What Grief and Loss Resources Should Our School Have Available?

Naional Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Resources

Fernside and Banana Splits Resource Center Reading Lists

Online Resources

School Grief and Loss Resource Library

Thought Provokers and Issues to Consider

Chapter Reflection


"Burns provides an excellent, user-friendly guide to help school personnel navigate the tricky waters of child grief. This is a welcome resource for school professionals.”

Steve Hoff, Licensed Psychologist
Great Barrington, MA

“The author’s sensitivity and understanding of cultural variations in reactions to loss provide a much-needed perspective to this important topic.”

Heta-Maria Miller, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology
The College of Saint Rose

"A significant resource for educators as they work with children and adolescents who are dealing with grief and loss.”

Marguerite G. Lodico, Professor of Educational Psychology
The College of Saint Rose

"Burns' book captures the wisdom, sensitivity, and gentle humor that she has used in a lifetime of work with grieving families. She teaches us to discover our own strengths as we mourn the people we have loved and lost.”

Katherine H. Voegtle, Professor of Educational Psychology
The College of Saint Rose

"Donna Burns has written an important book for practicing professionals, especially school professionals involved with grieving children and young adults. What is a matter for profound grieving by a young person may not be recognized among adults as an issue calling for sensitive support. And, symptoms of childhood and young adult grieving are often mistaken for other issues because young people are so often indirect in the ways they channel their grief. Burns provides an excellent resource for preventing traumatic grieving, recognizing youthful grieving as it occurs, and constructively responding to grieving youth at the individual, classroom, and school levels. This book provides an excellent knowledge base on the subject, and is also an invaluable reference volume that every educational professional would do well to own.”

Margaret M. Kirwin, Dean, Lally School of Education
The College of Saint Rose

“The best guide to dealing with loss for children that I have read. The book teaches the counselor to use life experience tools in the healing process.”

Daniel Doherty, Public Health Specialist, Disaster Preparedness Unit
NYS Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Troy, NY

“For anyone dealing with grief, this book is priceless. It is perfectly suited for professionals as well as families dealing with this difficult issue. By far, it is one of the best books written on the subject because of the manner in which Burns compassionately combines human sensitivity with relevant theory and research. When you read this book, you never forget that first and foremost we are fragile human beings. Burns’ wisdom, insight, kindness, and love shines through on every page.”

Stephen Birchak, Author of How to Build a Child’s Character

Students who are studying trauma want to know how to work with children ... especially around issues of school violence

Lorraine Peeler
Community and Human Services, SUNY - Empire State College - NFC
June 20, 2013

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412974905

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