Referral Criteria 

Edward’s Trust is a specialist provider of holistic family bereavement support for the West Midlands area. It is based in Edgbaston, Birmingham.



* All initial contacts will be treated as an enquiry and will only be accepted as a referral following further investigation by the service delivery team. This initial triage system is designed to ascertain the individual’s need; to check against our criteria and to determine whether we are the most appropriate service to meet the current need.

* Parents bereaved, or about to be bereaved, of their son or daughter – whatever the age of their child or cause of death.

* Children and young people aged between 4 – 24 years who are bereaved, or are about to be bereaved, of a parent, grandparent, significant carer, sibling or friend. The age at time of enquiry will determine whether a service can be provided.

* Bereaved parents/carers of a child or young person who is currently accessing support through Edward’s Trust and who also require support with their grief.

Whilst we cover the West Midlands area, we can offer a service to anyone meeting the criteria providing they can travel to Edgbaston.  There may be additional coverage for those outside the area where local arrangements are not in place – ask for information.

* Enquiries will be accepted where a child or young person has been bereaved of an individual where a significant attachment existed (e.g. parent, grandparent, sibling, friend or carer) and where the bereavement is having a substantial impact upon that individuals’ wellbeing.

* Bereavement has to be identified as the primary presenting issue for the parent, child or young person.  Any type of bereavement can be referred to the Trust, although each case will be subject to an assessment of need.  There may be some cases where the therapist assesses that another agency/service is more appropriate and hence needs to re-direct the referral.


End of Life (Pre-bereavement)

* Edward’s Trust will accept enquiries for parents, children/young people for pre-bereavement intervention if their child or someone significant in their life has a life limiting progressive illness and is receiving end of life care.


Enquiries can be made by family members, professionals or the parent/child/young person. 

Parents, children and young people MUST be aware of the enquiry to the Trust and be in agreement with initial contact being made.

Enquiries should be made with the consent of the primary carer of the child. Some enquiries will be accepted where young people have expressly requested that the primary carer is not informed, having regard to their age, development and understanding (Gillick competence). 

When an enquiry is accepted as a referral the parent, child or young person will be added to our waiting list until a therapist is available.

The number of sessions offered will be based on the identified need of the parent, child/young person and as such will vary. Intervention may be offered in a group or one-to-one.

In most cases it is beneficial for a period of at least 8 weeks after the death to have elapsed prior to enquiry to the Trust.  Assessment and support/counselling will generally not be offered to parents, children and young people before this time.

The services offered by Edward’s Trust include:

Advice, Information, Support and Training

  • Advice, information and support for professionals, family members, children and young people.
  • Training can be provided to organisations and professionals on request.

Telephone Support

  • On-going or a one-off occasion.
  • Will not necessarily lead to a referral and work with a child/family, e.g. one off telephone advice/support.

Individual Counselling/Play Therapy<br />

  • Individual work may be provided by telephone, online (e.g. Zoom) or face to face.
  • Sessions may vary in length as agreed between the therapist and the parent, child/young person depending upon need and service provision/availability.
  • The number of sessions offered/held may be reduced or extended depending upon the individuals need and presenting issues during the work.
  • The therapist will agree the most suitable venue for the work to be undertaken e.g. Edward’s Trust, School, online etc.
  • Contact with other agencies, family members etc. will occur with the consent of the child/young person and/or parent/carer.

Wellbeing Support

  • We are also able to refer to our wellbeing therapist for tailored wellbeing support for young people and adults aged 16 and over. This is part of our holistic approach to supporting the physical aspects of grief too.
  • This support is available independently of any other services following an assessment with our clinical team.

Sibling Work<br />

  • The needs of the child or young person will initially be assessed to determine the most appropriate support for them. Where appropriate this will be part of a family assessment which can ascertain the needs of siblings and parents (where relevant).
  • Siblings may be offered support together, where this is identified as the best approach by our service delivery team

Group Work

– Please note our group work is currently suspended due to the COVID 19 pandemic

  • Group work for parents, children/young people will be offered only where available and appropriate to meet the identified needs.
  • Ongoing support/drop-in groups may also be available.


This information will be kept secure at Edward’s Trust office.

The information will be used by the counsellors and wellbeing therapists to aid them in their support.

The data will be kept on a secure database, and only used anonymously in conjunction with other clients’ data as statistics. We will not contact you for marketing purposes. You can read our full privacy policy here.

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