In honor of Children’s Grief Awareness Month (November), the National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) is proud to host a national webcast on children’s grief on November 8, 2018. Featuring nationally recognized leaders in the field of childhood bereavement, the educational webcast is geared towards professionals in the fields of funeral services, hospice care, health care, education, mental health, child welfare, and bereavement support.

The half-day conference will be webcasted live from 11:30am ET to 3:30pm ET from Princeton, NJ with the support of local host Good Grief.

In an effort to increase awareness around the issue of childhood bereavement, the webcast is offered to individuals and organizations at a low price ($150 per site) with the encouragement that they will in turn host a live webcast viewing event within their own community. This conference offers the opportunity to affordably bring together a spectrum of individuals such as staff, board members, volunteers, sponsors, donors, media, business and civic leaders to a designated location to view the live webcast and afterwards discuss what they learned and how it applies to their specific community.

This year’s webcast is entitled “Supporting Youth and Schools After a Community Tragedy”. The webcast will feature three one-hour sessions. Local host sites also have the option of conducting an on-site discussion/reflection on what they learned once the live webcast ends.

The first session will be delivered by Donna L. Schuurman, Ed.D. Drawing on her experience with community responses to both U.S. and international large-scale disasters, Dr. Schuurman will share “lessons observed” following human-initiated and natural disasters. Effective outreach following high profile events involving deaths requires planning and coordination. In this talk she will weave professional experience with research findings on what to include or consider when assisting people in communities impacted by high-profile tragic events.

Dr. Schuurman currently serves as the Senior Director of Advocacy & Training at The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families, since 1986. Author of Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent, Dr. Schuurman is a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement, and a founding board member of The NAGC. She has trained the NTSB and FBI’s Rapid Deployment teams, as well as medical personnel, NGO staff and caregivers following major disasters around the world.

The second session will feature David J Schonfeld, MD, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and a member the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council who served as a Commissioner for both the National Commission on Children and Disasters and the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Conneticut. Dr. Schonfeld established and directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at the University of Southern California. Drawing from more than 30 years’ experience responding to school and community crisis events, Dr. Schonfeld will provide examples and answer questions from participants and will highlight free resources for supporting children, families and professionals in the aftermath of crisis and loss.

The third and final session will be presented by Meghan Szafran, MS, CT and Kevin Carter. Currently on staff at The Center for Grieving Children in Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Szafran and Mr. Carter’s session will focus on their center’s successful school-based grief support program which is implemented in over 100 schools each year.

Registration for the NAGC’s 2018 Fall Conference & Webcast on Children's Grief will be open through November 1st. Questions about the Fall Conference and Webcast can be directed to . Registration is online at

The TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing is providing a free on-demand webinar on entitled "Understanding Children's Grief".

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An article highlighting the work and vision of the NAGC is in the June 2018 edition of the "Southern Funeral Director Magazine".

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NAGC Founders Award presented to Diane GoldsmithSAN ANTONIO, TX, June 29, 2018 –  At the 22nd Annual National Symposium on Children’s Grief, the National Alliance for Grieving Children announced recipients for two national awards presented annually.

The NAGC Founder’s Award was presented to Diane Goldsmith, New Hope for Kids, Florida. The Founder’s Award is given annually to one individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of children’s grief support as a volunteer. Diane has been an exceptional volunteer at New Hope for Kids since 1999, one year after her 16 year old daughter Rebecca was killed by a drunk driver. In the midst of her own grief, Diane witnessed the grief experienced by her daughter’s friends as they would come to Rebecca’s room and cry. She recognized that they too needed support in their grief. When asked on the volunteer application why she would like to work with bereaved children, Diane wrote: “I understand the healing process and respect each individual’s right to grieve in their own way. I know the need to have someone listen and am anxious to help others in their grief.” Even now, after 18 years of volunteering, Diane’s selfless compassion has not wavered.

The NAGC Excellence in Service Award was presented to Dr. Jenny Kaplan Schreiber , Jeff’s Place, MassachusettsNAGC Excellence in Service Award presented to Dr. Jenny Kaplan Schreiber.  The Excellence in Service Award is given annually to one professional working in the field of childhood bereavement who has made a significant contribution to the field as a whole. Her contribution to the field of bereavement has helped shaped the way bereaved children receive support.  Following the death of her older brother, Dr. Kaplan has contributed over 20 years of service to the field. Leading by example, her many roles have included founder of two bereavement centers, researcher, author and community builder.

Her doctorate dissertation developed the “Inventory of Youth Adaptation to Loss”, a scale that measures the social and emotional support and response to grief in bereaved children. Dr. Schreiber ‘s goal is to be able to distribute this outcome measurement tool (at no cost) for other bereavement centers to utilize.

The National Alliance for Grieving Children salutes these two outstanding women for their selfless dedication to ensure that no child grieves alone.

2016 was easily the worst year of my life. It began with the unexpected end to a relationship that left me feeling like my life was over. But as the year went on, with the help of my incredible friends and family (especially my mom), I healed.

As part of the healing process, I signed up to run the NYC marathon. Although extremely daunting, it was so helpful to me to set a goal and have something to dedicate myself to throughout the spring, summer and early fall.

Ten days before the race, a package from my mom arrived containing a Tiffany key chain with the race logo, the date of the marathon and my initials engraved on it. As I opened it, tears streamed down my face because the gift was such a perfect symbol of my upcoming accomplishment, and I felt so lucky to have such a supportive family. But then four days later, I received the worst kind of phone call that is anyone’s worst nightmare – my brother from the ICU sobbing uncontrollably telling me to get on the next plane home to Cleveland, where I grew up.

My mom was unexpectedly in critical condition and it was unclear if she would remain stable. Within seconds, my co-workers booked my flight and took me in a cab to the airport. I blacked this entire experience out and remember very little of it because all I could think about was that my mom had to be okay – there was no other option.

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