2017 Fall Conference and Webcast

For Children's Grief Awareness Month, the National Alliance for Grieving Children will again host a Fall Conference & Webcast on Children's Grief.  This popular event will feature thought leaders from the field of childhood bereavement who appeal to a diverse audience, including, funeral service, hospice care, health care, education, mental health, child welfare, and bereavement support professionals.

Playback is Now Available!

Purchase the Playback

Webcast Schedule: The webcast will take place on Thursday, November 2, 2017.
The webcast begins at 12:00pm Eastern/ 11:00am Central/ 10:00am Mountain/9:00am Pacific.
The webcast ends at 5:00pm Eastern/4:00 pm Central/3:00pm Mountain/2:00pm Pacific.

12:00pm-12:05pm: Welcome
12:05pm-1:35pm: Session 1
1:35pm- 1:45pm: 10 min Break
1:45pm -3:15pm Session 2
3:15pm-3:30pm: 15 min Break
3:30pm-5:00pm: Session 3

11:00am- 11:05am: Welcome
11:05pm-12:35pm: Session 1
12:35pm- 12:45pm: 10 min Break
12:45pm -2:15pm Session 2
2:15pm-2:30pm: 15 min Break
2:30pm-4:00pm: Session 3

10:00am- 10:05am: Welcome
10:05pm-11:35pm: Session 1
11:35pm- 11:45pm: 10 min Break
11:45pm -1:15pm Session 2
1:15pm-1:30pm: 15 min Break
1:30pm-3:00pm: Session 3

9:00am- 9:05am: Welcome
9:05pm-10:35pm: Session 1
10:35pm- 10:45pm: 10 min Break
10:45pm -12:15pm Session 2
12:15pm-12:30pm: 15 min Break
12:30pm-2:00pm: Session 3

The webcast will stream live from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston Texas. A local audience is to be provided by the NAGC’s local host Bo’s Place (bosplace.org).

Please email with any questions regarding hosting your event.

CE Instructions

*CE Approval is currently pending

Hosting sites that wish to do so, may offer CEs for the webcast through the NAGC and the NAGC's Continuing Education Co-sponsor, CE Learning Systems. To offer 4.5 CE clock hours. There is a $50 Administration fee paid with registration and then an additional $25 per certificate fee to be paid after the webcast. (Click here for additional information on CE credit).

Sites that offer CEs through the NAGC will need to complete and return the NAGC's CE Sign In/Out Sheet. This document serves as proof of participants’ attendance.

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline to upload your CE file and complete your CE purchase is November 9th

Below are simple instructions to complete the CE process.

1. Register to host a live webcast event: Register here: https://childrengrieve.wildapricot.org/event-2611860/

2. Invite local professionals to attend. Click here to download a customizable flyer in Microsoft Word.

  • Hospice Professionals
  • Funeral Professionals
  • Clergy
  • Education Professionals
  • University Personnel
  • Anyone who works with children or is learning how to better work with children!

3. Download you CE sign in-sign out sheet  Here (Formatted in Microsoft Excel)

4. On the day of the event have everyone sign in and sign out for their CE’s. This document serves as proof of participants’ attendance. The form will contain the following information: Participant's Name, Email Address, Discipline, License # (optional), Company, Address, Sign In Time, and Sign Out Time.

5. Upon completion of the webcast, please enter this information into the NAGC's Excel Spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will be uploaded at the time you pay for your CEs.

6. Once your spreadsheet is completed, go online to pay for your CE participants & upload your spreadsheet here: (Link Coming Soon!)

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline to upload your CE file and complete your CE purchase is November 9th. Your participants CE links will be emailed within a week of your sign in sheet being sent and your payment received.

Please reach out with any questions to Megan Lopez at .

Session Information

Session I. When A Parent is Dying… Honesty is an Ethical Imperative
Patti Anewalt, PhD, LPC, FT


Honesty is essential when helping children understand and cope with the terminal illness and death of a parent. Yet far too often, out of a desire to protect, adults withhold information. This leaves children ill prepared to cope with the death. Children and teens needs are often overlooked because the focus is on the dying parent. Adapting J. William Worden’s tasks, this session will address the three tasks facing children and teens when facing the death of a parent. With adequate information and support, parents and caregivers can help create a feeling of connection within the family despite this turmoil. This sense of connection is what helps families get through this difficult time.

Objectives: At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to. . .

  • List at least three questions children will typically ask when a parent is seriously ill
  • Describe how children react differently based on their developmental age
  • Identify some of the common issues when a parent is terminally ill
  • Explain the ethical dilemma a parent faces when they are dying

About Patti Anewalt

Patti is has been with Hospice & Community Care for 22 years.  The focus of her clinical practice, writing and teaching is on issues related to end of life, grief, compassion fatigue and crisis response, presenting at the national, state and local level.  A Fellow in Thanatology with the Association for Death, Education and Counseling where she is on the Board of Directors, she is a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement. As Director at the Pathways Center for Grief & Loss Patti oversees a wide variety of bereavement services for adults, children and teens, serving over 5500 individuals a month.  She oversees the Coping Kids & Teens program which provides individual and group support, school grief groups, grief and crisis response trainings in the schools and an overnight children’s bereavement camp she started in 1996.

Session II. The Other Kids – Ethically Supporting Siblings Experiencing Anticipatory Grief

Taryn Schuelke, CCLS, CPMT


The dying child. The caregivers. The siblings. It's common for our attention to prioritize the family in this order. It's easy to overlook our third priority when they're not always present before our eyes, but what about them, the forgotten ones? What about The Other Kids? How and why do we not include them? Maybe it's a requested or forced exclusion from the caregivers themselves. Maybe the intensity is so high, time so limited, and staffing so short. Maybe there are visitation restrictions. There are plenty of reasons this may happen, but is it ethical to keep the siblings away from the dying child? Is it ethical to include them? How can we assess this and bridge the gap? Sometimes the kids ARE present and actively involved with their dying sibling.  What do we say to them? What are they thinking and feeling? How can we best support these young grievers on the sidelines? How do we work with the parents to support The Other Kids? These questions and more will be explored in this session through discussion, lecture, and real case examples.

At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to. . .

  • Identify common manifestations of anticipatory grief in siblings
  • Ethically advocate for sibling involvement prior to the patient's death
  • Utilize a practical framework with parents when discussing the sibling's anticipatory grief
  • Apply developmentally appropriate language and interventions when talking to siblings about death and dying

About Taryn Schuelke

As the Palliative Care Grief and Bereavement Specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital, Taryn assists families in navigating the grief that comes with their child’s life limiting illness, end-of-life support, and bereavement follow up care after the death of their child. She co-chairs the interdisciplinary System Wide Bereavement Committee where they work on systemic projects, policies, and procedures to better serve patients and families facing end-of-life care. Taryn has a passion for ethics, grief education, and spirituality within Palliative Care.  She is a Certified Child Life Specialist, and her background is in Emergency Center, Neonatal Intensive Care, and Women’s Services units, working with patients and their families. Taryn’s history as a CCLS grew in her a heart to serve those who are grieving and led her to the role she now holds. When she’s not helping families grieve, Taryn is at home with her family, acting childish, and playing her ukulele. Taryn’s motto is no guilt in life, no fear in death, and there is joy to be found in every moment.


Session III. Developmental and Ethical Engagement in Children Experiencing Anticipatory Grieving, Ambiguous Loss and Life Limiting Illness
Jeanine Clapsaddle, MA, LMFT, CCLS


Developmental theory has been applied to every aspect of a child’s worldly experience. However, putting theory into practice to address the therapeutic needs of a dying child or a child living with chronic illness has staid many clinicians, uncertain of how to begin.  Through a developmental framework and review of current literature, this presentation will discuss opportunities for engaging children in their own grief and loss process, identify the ethical challenges intertwined in working with children, and examine the impact of ambiguous loss on the normative development of pediatric patient survivors.

Objectives: At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to. . .

  • Identify how development shapes patient perception of death
  • Examine ethical dilemmas in providing grief and loss services to dying pediatric patients
  • Describe ambiguous loss and give one example of delayed onset loss
  • Identify legacy building opportunities to support children facing grief and loss

About Jeanine Clapsaddle

Jeanine Clapsaddle, MA, LMFT, CCLS is a Certified Child Life Specialist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years’ experience working with pediatric patients and their families, providing intervention and support throughout their course of medical care, transition to home and bereavement experiences. She currently serves as the Clinical Supervisor for the Child Life, Music Therapy and Healing Arts Program at Arnold Palmer Medical Center in Orlando, Florida.

Special Thanks

Special Thanks to the organizations and individuals who have made this event possible:

Additional Thanks to:
Texas Children’s Hospital
Bo’s Place