An initial assessment takes place at the Once Upon a Smile office in the first instance with parent or carer and if they are happy with the support types we offer, we then invite the child(ren) in to complete an assessment. This is often the first time that the family have met Once Upon A Smile so it is extremely important that it is a positive experience.
The purpose of the assessment is to:
- Build trust so that the family feel “safe” working with us
- Give information about Once Upon A Smile so that the family can make an informed decision about future involvement
- Collect information about the person who has died and how the death has affected the family
- Collect information on the child’s knowledge and understanding of the death
- Gather information to enable the assessor to decide if the bereavement is the main issue. In some cases it may be necessary to refer on to another organisation.
“We were so relieved to be given the information about the charity. From the first meeting I felt like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders. Sarah felt at home and the way the assessment took place was heart-warming. It was so nice to hear somebody say that how we were dealing with our loss was not wrong”. Sarah was reassured that everything she was feeling was fine and that people understood her.
Parent of 11 year old group member.
Families are asked what they would like to achieve from attending Once Upon a Smile, this helps us to determine what support groups to offer.
“Would be nice to have some time out from seeing my parents so upset”.
“I would like to make a memory box but my mum isn’t ready to help me”.
“I want to make friends with others who understand”.
“It hurts on his birthday, I need to learn ways to look after myself”.
“Don’t know what I need”.
‘To help me remember my sister”.
‘To help me understand what’s happened”.