Resources and information on grief and loss issues and their relation to various aspects of child welfare, including child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, and adoption.
Creating Threads of Continuity: Helping Infants and Toddlers Through Transitions in Foster Care (PDF - 482 KB)
The National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center (2004)
Discusses strategies for helping young children through transitions in foster care and highlights the need for young children to maintain a connection to their primary caregiver.
The Crisis of Adoption Disruption and Dissolution
In Play Therapy with Children in Crisis: Individual, Group, and Family Treatment. 3rd ed.
Evaluates the role of play therapy in healing after a disrupted adoption, achieving a sense of closure, and allowing the child and family to move on.
Disruption and Dissolution: Unspoken Losses (PDF - 500 KB)
Macrae & Anderson (2004)
Explores the emotional toll of adoption disruption and its impact on children, youth, and parents. Techniques for coping with grief and loss are also described.
Disruptions in Close Relationships: How They Affect a Child's Behavior, Thoughts, and Feelings (PDF - 190 KB)
University of Wisconsin - Extension Cooperative Extension (2003)
Examines different types of disruptions that may occur in a child's life, the stages of coping, and includes a chart illustrating the common reactions of children coping with separation and other major life changes.
The Effects of Foster Care Placement on Young Children's Mental Health (PDF - 19 KB)
Troutman, Ryan, & Cardi
Protecting Children, 16(1), 2000
Discusses the impact on young children of disruptions in attachments with primary caretakers in out-of-home care.
Finding the Missing Pieces: Helping Adopted Children Cope with Grief and Loss
Adoption Learning Partners (2002)
An online course that can help families identify the gains and losses experienced by members of the adoption circle, understand the factors that affect the experience of loss, recognize the signs of grief in adopted children at different developmental stages, identify situations that may trigger grief responses, develop strategies for helping children grieve their losses, identify resources to help children and families grieve, and understand when to seek professional assistance.
Helping Bereaved Children: A Handbook for Practitioners
Describes a range of therapeutic approaches and interventions for children who have experienced loss.
Post-Adoption Services: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children Adopted from Foster Care (PDF - 150 KB)
North American Council on Adoptable Children (2007)
Outlines the mental health needs of children adopted from foster care, the needs of their adoptive families, barriers to receiving mental health services, and some effective postadoption service programs.
Separation and Loss Issues for Foster and Birth Families
Designed for social workers, foster parents, and birth parents, this 80-minute DVD explores the feelings of loss and separation experienced by children in foster care.
Treating Trauma and Traumatic Grief in Children and Adolescents
Cohen, Mannarino, & Deblinger (2006)
Provides a framework for assessing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other trauma-related symptoms in children and adolescents and information on developing an individualized treatment plan.
Walking with Them: Advocating for Parents With Mental Illnesses in the Child Welfare System
Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, 12, 2003
Evaluates the opportunities and challenges in implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that aims to improve, among other things, mental health services for parents with mental illness.