Planning a funeral or memorial for a child is one of the most difficult times in life.
With the help of families who have walked in those shoes, as well health professionals and those working in funeral care, Palliative Care Australia (PCA) has released a booklet and accompanying video to support and guide families.
“The need for these resources came from parents and carers themselves as part of our National Paediatric Palliative Care Project,” says Camilla Rowland, Chief Executive Officer, PCA.
“One of the real strengths of the Project has been that strong voice of lived experience shaping actions and outcomes, and what we heard was that there was nothing to help families navigate the emotional and practical challenges that naturally come with farewelling a child or young person.
“This booklet and video meet that need and I have no doubt will be a welcome support.”
The 23 page ‘Guide to Planning a Funeral for Your Child’ is available free as a digital download or printed hard copy covering a range of topics:
- What will happen to my child?
- Choosing a funeral director
- Care of your child before a funeral or memorial
- Planning your child’s funeral or memorial
- On the day of the funeral or memorial
- What does a funeral or memorial cost?
- After the funeral or memorial
With funding from the Department of Health and Aged Care, the booklet and video are a collaboration between Palliative Care Australia, Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand, and the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA).
Kelly Scott, a funeral director from regional Victoria and member of the AFDA is the voice of the accompanying video.
“There’s no such thing as a silly question,” Ms Scott says.
“If you have a need that we can help with its really important that you express that. Don’t let anyone rush you, take your time, think about all the options, and really think about what is important to you and your family.
“It’s a good thing to ring around and speak to different funeral directors. This is a person or company you are going to be trusting your child with.”
Free copies of the booklet can be ordered or downloaded from the Paediatric Palliative Care website.
“We are very proud of this valuable tool for Australian families, it comes with our care and support, thank you to all those who have made it possible,” Ms Rowland says.
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