2018 Fall Conference and Webcast

Rent the Playback

For Children's Grief Awareness Month, the National Alliance for Grieving Children will again host a Fall Conference & Webcast on Children's Grief.  This year's webcast is entitled "Supporting Youth and Schools After a Community Tragedy". 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.

Hosting a LIVE Webcast viewing event is an easy and affordable way to:
- Educate Your Community
- Offer Innovative Training to Staff, Volunteers and/or Board Members
- Enhance your local relationships by inviting social workers, local funeral professionals,hospice care workers, educators, and mental health professionals.
- Make it a Free Event or a Fundraiser! You decide to charge a fee or not.

$150.00 - General Rate/Non-members
$125.00 - NAGC members
Want to offer CEs at your viewing event? Additional +$50.00 Administrative fee per site, plus $25.00 per person for NAGC to offer 3.0 CEs through a CEU sponsor. Continuing Education is available for: Psychologists, Counselors, MFT’s & Social Workers
Additional information on Continuing Education 

Registration for sites to offer CEs ends November 1st

Our local host Good Grief invites you to join us as part of the local audience for the National Alliance for Grieving Children Fall Conference which will stream live from the Black Box Theatre at Princeton High School, Princeton, NJ.
For information and to register for the live event, please click HERE.

Webcast Schedule: The webcast will take place on Thursday, November 8, 2018.
The webcast begins at 11:30am ET/10:30am CT/9:30am MT/8:30am PT
The webcast ends at 3:30PM ET/2:30PM CT/1:30PM MT/12:30PT

11:30am-11:45am: Welcome
11:45am-12:45pm: Session 1 (1hr)
12:45pm- 1:00pm: 15 min Break
1:00pm -2:00pm: Session 2 (1hrs)
2:00pm- 2:15pm: 15 min Break
2:15pm-3:15pm: Session 3 (1hrs)
3:15pm-3:20pm Farewell
3:20pm-3:30pm: 10 min break
3:30pm-4:30pm: Optional On-Site Discussion

10:30am-10:45am: Welcome
10:45am-11:45am: Session 1 (1hr)
11:45pm- 12:00pm: 15 min Break
12:00pm -1:00pm: Session 2 (1hrs)
1:00pm- 1:15pm: 15 min Break
1:15pm-2:15pm: Session 3 (1hrs)
2:15pm-2:20pm Farewell
2:20pm-2:30pm: 10 min break
2:30pm-3:30pm: Optional On-Site Discussion

9:30am-9:45am: Welcome
9:45am-10:45am: Session 1 (1hr)
10:45pm- 11:00am: 15 min Break
11:00am -12:00pm: Session 2 (1hrs)
12:00pm- 12:15pm: 15 min Break
12:15pm-1:15pm: Session 3 (1hrs)
1:15pm-1:20pm Farewell
1:20pm-1:30pm: 10 min break
1:30pm-2:30pm: Optional On-Site Discussion

8:30am-8:45am: Welcome
8:45am-9:45am: Session 1 (1hr)
9:45pm- 10:00am: 15 min Break
10:00am -11:00am: Session 2 (1hrs)
11:00am- 11:15am: 15 min Break
11:15am-12:15am: Session 3 (1hrs)
12:15am-12:20pm Farewell
12:20pm-12:30pm: 10 min break
12:30pm-1:30pm: Optional On-Site Discussion

The webcast will stream live from Princeton, NJ. A local audience is to be provided by the NAGC’s local host Good Grief (good-grief.org).
Please email with any questions regarding hosting your event.

Supporting Youth and Schools After a Community Tragedy 

Death, dying, and bereavement are unfortunate themes that appear almost daily in news headlines. Rarely is there any discussion on a national level as to how community tragedy impacts the lives of children and teenagers. This webcast will provide insight into the challenges faced by children and teenagers impacted by a community tragedy. Our presenters will provide practical information and advice for supporting children and teenagers in the aftermath of a tragedy. They will share information about how to talk to children about tragedy, how to engage the community, and ways to offer support throughout the grieving process.

Session & Speaker Information

Session I: “Lessons Learned to Promote Positive Outcomes when Responding to Traumatic Events”
Presented by: Donna L. Schuurman, Ed.D.Donna Schuurman 800 x 1200

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, like school shootings, earthquakes, as well as ongoing social crises like the opioid addiction epidemic, 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.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this talk, participants will be able to:

1. Identify five factors to promote positive outcomes when responding to traumatic events.
2. Describe six key principles of a trauma-informed approach to large-scale disasters.
3. Practically apply factors and principles to community-based organizations and/or programs for effective response to community disasters.

About Donna L. Schuurman, Ed.D.

Donna Schuurman is Sr. Director of Advocacy & Training at The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families, where she has served since 1986. She writes and trains internationally on bereavement issues, and authored 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. She believes grief is inherently complicated.


Session II: “Supporting Students and Staff in the Aftermath of Crisis”
Presented by: David J Schonfeld, MD
David Schonfeld Copy
School and community crises have the potential to cause short- and long-term effects on the psychological functioning, emotional adjustment, health, and developmental trajectory of students. School professionals play a vital role in providing important support to students. This support promotes their understanding of the event, helps them learn coping strategies to accelerate adjustment and minimize their distress, and minimizes maladaptive coping mechanisms and behavioral difficulties. The presentation will provide practical suggestions on how to identify common adjustment difficulties in children in the aftermath of a crisis and to promote effective coping strategies to mitigate the impact of the crisis. The presenter, David J Schonfeld, MD, 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.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this talk, participants will be able to:

1. Understand the importance of psychological first aid and basic supportive services to promoting adjustment after a crisis
2. Outline the common symptoms of adjustment reactions in children and adolescents that may occur in response to a crisis and implications for providing ethical and sound support.
3. Describe the timeline for adjustment for children after a crisis event.
4. Know how to access free resources related to school crisis response and bereavement from the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (www.schoolcrisiscenter.org) and the Coalition to Support Grieving Students (www.grievingstudents.org)

About David J Schonfeld, MD
David J Schonfeld, MD is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB). He holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. In 2005, Schonfeld established the NCSCB with funding from the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust. Further funding from the New York Life Foundation has allowed the center to provide ongoing and expanded services. The center aims to promote an appreciation of the role that schools play to support students, staff and families at times of crisis and loss; to collaborate with organizations and agencies to further this goal; and to serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation and technical assistance. Schonfeld has authored more than 100 scholarly articles, book chapters and books (e.g., The Grieving Student: A Teacher’s Guide, Brookes Publishing) and has given more than 800 presentations on the topics of pediatric bereavement and crisis. He has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Marysville, Washington; Aurora, Colorado, Chardon, Ohio; and Townville, South Carolina; flooding from hurricanes Sandy in New York and New Jersey, Katrina in New Orleans, and Ike in Galveston, Texas; 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China; tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Alabama; and Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevierville, Tennessee. He has also conducted school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T. Grant Foundation and other foundations) involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death, as well as school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention. Schonfeld is a member the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council, serving as commissioner for both the National Commission on Children and Disasters as well as the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Connecticut. He was president of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 2006 to 2007.


Session III: “Partnering with Schools to Support Grieving Students”
Presented by: Meghan Szafran, MS, CT and Kevin Carter, MSW, LCSW

Partnering with schools to support grieving students comes with its own challenges. Building strong relationships, responding to logistical challenges, and implementing an effective curriculum with fidelity while remaining flexible are key aspects of a successful school-based grief support program. Through five years of lessons learned, The Center for Grieving Children in Philadelphia has built an innovative and sought-after grief support program which is implemented in over 100 schools each year. We will discuss lessons learned from our hands-on experiences, the ways we meet our students’ cultural and emotional needs, and how we have expanded our services to meet the training and crisis response needs of our schools.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this talk, participants will be able to:

1. Understand how grief can manifest in the school setting and how to ethically and effectively support grieving students.
2. Cultivate school partnerships and effectively equip stakeholders to respond to students' social, developmental and cultural needs related to grief.
3. Identify key activities and theories that are part of in-school grief groups and an in-school crisis response.
4. Discuss lessons learned from The Center for Grieving Children's implementation of school-based grief groups.

About Meghan Szafran, MS, CT  photo meghan 002

Meghan Szafran, MS, CT has an extensive and varied background working with children and families, specializing in addiction, trauma, and grief. She has worked to implement evidence-based programming in school and community settings, training school professionals in evidence-based violence prevention models, and coordinating with community stakeholders to promote resiliency with youth and families. She spent over ten years providing group and individual counseling to adolescents and their families impacted by drug and alcohol addiction and trauma as the Lead Clinical Therapist and the Director of Prevention Services at TODAY, Inc., before making her way to The Center for Grieving Children in Philadelphia. She has been with The Center since January 2015 and serves as the Director of School & Community Services where she oversees and facilitates school and community grief groups for youth 5-22, provides bereavement training to caregivers and professionals, and post-crisis support to schools. She has presented at the Greater Philadelphia Trauma Conference and the at the National Alliance for Grieving Children annual conference and has earned her Certificate in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Meghan received her undergraduate degree in Health & Human Services from Virginia Wesleyan College and her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a certificate in Trauma Studies from Chestnut Hill College. She is currently pursuing state licensure as a Professional Counselor and is passionate about her work in ensuring that no child grieves alone.

Kevin Website EditedKevin R. Carter, MSW, LCSW currently serves as the Clinical Director for The Center for Grieving Children.  Prior to the current position Kevin practiced in a variety of settings as a clinician, administrator and educator in community mental health, residential care for adolescents, hospice child/teen bereavement and served as a field director in social work education.  His primary interests are in grief/loss/trauma and in particular how these issues impact children, youth and families and in particular, the African American community. 

American Psychological Association

CE Learning Systems, LLC is approved by American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Association of Social Work Boards

CE Learning Systems (Provider #1020) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of State Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education ACE program. CE Learning Systems LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/23/2016 – 02/23/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive up to 3 continuing education clock hours.

National Board for Certified Counselors

CE Learning Systems and National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) are cosponsors of this program. The cosponsorship has been approved by NBCC. CE Learning Systems is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5951. The ACEP solely is responsible for this program, including the awarding of NBCC credit.

New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work

CE Learning Systems SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0060.

New York Education Department Board of Creative Arts Therapy

CE Learning Systems (d/b/a CE-credit.com), is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists. #CAT-0008

New York Education Department for Licensed Mental Health Counselors

CE Learning Systems, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0072.

Special Thanks

Special Thanks to the organizations and individuals who have made this event possible:
NYLF RGB hi res VITAS Healthcare

Additional Thanks to:
Good Grief (Princeton, NJ)