The Impact of a Peer Support Programme for Children who are Experiencing Loss: A New Zealand Perspective
Managing the absence or loss of a significant person in a child’s life is distressing, sometimes traumatic and always unavoidable. Short-term, support programmes offer opportunities for children through safe disclosure, guided exploration and meaning making to understand and manage this distress. This research evaluates the work of one peer support programme in New Zealand. Gathering qualitative data from 141 participants in four centres it examines the programme’s aims and affects on its participants, and discusses the grief support needs and experiences of children and young people. The results indicate that this programme is highly valued by its participants and that it supports both parents and their children to manage their losses and integrate these difficult experiences.