How we can help

Who we are

SeeSaw is a small, independent Oxfordshire charity founded in 2000 to provide grief support for local children, young people and their families, or those who care for them. We provide advice, information, resources, consultations, training, support for schools and, when appropriate, face to face support sessions for children and young people, usually within their own homes.  

Our ethos is that grief is universal, it is not a mental health concern, it is not always problematic for a child or young person and it does not always require a therapeutic intervention. 

For most people, given the right type of information, advice and tools, support for children and young people can be managed by the people who care for them and know them best. We offer telephone advice and resources to enable family members and professionals to be able to provide that support. Often we help to find the right words, or to understand that a child’s reaction is very normal for their age, or how to think about the situation from a child’s point of view. For most families knowing that someone is ‘alongside’ them in their grief is very helpful.  

At Seesaw we recognise that there may be some circumstances which mean that it might not be possible for families to be enabled to provide support themselves. In those circumstances 1:1 grief support work can be offered by our staff and volunteer team. Clinical staff will assess each family situation by home visit. Any direct support work with children and young people will usually be undertaken by our team of trained and supervised volunteers.  

Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot provide help. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for details of why we may not be able to offer support.

 

What we offer

When someone is dying

SeeSaw offers a pre bereavement service for families where a parent or carer has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and is dying and there are children up to the age of 18 in the family. Families can self-refer into this service or can ask one of the palliative care team to make contact with SeeSaw on their behalf. We will work with the parents to help them to have difficult conversation with their children, to develop practical strategies for managing family life, to manage information and think about the impact on the child. We will work directly with children to support and facilitate conversations with parents, express their feelings and wishes, keep them informed and understand the impact on their life. We will work with the family before the death and afterwards while they are adjusting to their loss and the changes to their family life.

SeeSaw will also offer advice and support to schools and other professionals who are involved with the family.

After someone has died

SeeSaw offers support to families after a parent or carer has died, or after the unexpected death of a sibling. Families can self-refer, and we can accept self-referrals from older young people up to the age of 18. There is no time limit on referrals – contact can be made at any point following a death. We can offer advice, information, suggestions for resources and activities, and direct work with children and young people if needed.

We can offer advice and support to schools and other professionals who are involved with the family.

Our criteria

  • SeeSaw provides support to families who live in Oxfordshire. Our ‘pre bereavement’ service will provide advice to families if the person with a terminal diagnosis is being treated at Oxfordshire hospitals or is in the care of an Oxfordshire hospice.
  • We work with families where there are children in the immediate family up to the age of 18. We will offer direct support to children from aged 5 up to the age of 18 if a parent or carer is dying or has died.
  • Where the person who is dying or has died is a grandparent or other family member without caring responsibilities for the children we will offer advice, information and resources to support a family.
  • We ask families to self-refer to our service.

Support for schools and professionals

SeeSaw offers advice, information, training and support to schools and pre-school settings where there has been a death in the school community. We can also advise and support school staff when a child at their school has a parent who is dying or has died.  More detailed information about support on offer including training can be found under Schools, where you can also download our Schools Pack.

SeeSaw will offer advice, information, training and support to professionals and organisations who may come into regular contact with bereaved children and young people.