The Prevalence of Childhood Bereavement
Did you know?
With over 5% of children experiencing the death of a parent or sibling before the age of 18, this issue affects:
More than 30,000 children in the Metro Denver area
More than 60,000 children in the state of Colorado
More than 4,000,000 children in the United States
For youth up to the age of 25, these numbers more than double.
While these statistics show the high prevalence of childhood bereavement, most grieving youth do not know other peers their age who have had a parent or sibling die, so they feel very alone with their grief.
Bereavement Causes Significant Stress
A large majority of the children at Judi’s House are grieving the death of a parent (73%) or sibling (10%). Over 65% of these deaths were sudden, and over 25% were due to suicide or homicide.
Additionally, a majority of families served at Judi’s House are experiencing significant stressors, including a decline in income as a result of the death of a loved one. In fact, one-third of the clients at Judi’s House fall below poverty level, and many have had to move or switch schools because of the loss.
The Cost of Inaction
Research has shown that unaddressed childhood grief and trauma can lead to immediate and long-term social, emotional and behavioral difficulties. Failure to support grieving children and teens can contribute to significant problems in a community, including issues associated with:
- Academic performance
- Increased dropout rates
- Illegal behaviors
- Treatment for mental health issues
Reducing Barriers to Care
Additionally, bereaved children and families in need of support face several barriers to effective care, including:
Lack of affordable and accessible services in the community
Stigma and negative perceptions of mental health services and agencies
Societal discomfort with death and lack of awareness of the needs of grieving children
Insufficient grief and trauma education for professionals
Failure to reimburse services without a diagnosable disorder
Judi’s House values prevention and believes that a child should not have to wait until they have a diagnosable condition to have access to support. This is why we are committed to making free, effective care accessible to all grieving children and families. Click here to learn more about our programs and services.