Coming to terms with your child's diagnosis

Family Companion

A Family Companion – Together for Short Lives (UK)

This booklet from the UK charity Together for Short Lives is aimed at helping parents navigate the maze of information, decisions and options that confront them when their child is diagnosed. It also covers the other stages of the palliative care journey.

Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis – American Cancer Society (USA)

While this online document is aimed at parents who have had a child diagnosed with cancer much of it offers general advice and experience in coping with a child diagnosed with a life-limiting or life threatening disease

Talking with Your Child – National Cancer Institute (USA)

This booklet from the National Cancer Institute is also aimed at parents with a child who has a cancer diagnosis but offers lots of general advice and experience on how to talk with your child, common questions children may ask and a variety of other issues. 

Talking with Children and Youth about Serious Illness – Canadian Virtual Hospice (CAN)

This article from the Canadian Virtual Hospice explores how to talk to siblings or other young people about the diagnosis of someone close to them. It explores such issues as how to talk to different age groups, how to talk about the care environments they may visit and how to start the acutal conversation

Things We Wish We Knew (IRE)

This documented was written by Sharon Thompson and draws upon her’s and her husbands experiences during the life of their daughter, Victoria Thompson. It takes a retrospective look at the time they spent in palliative care with their child and lists things they wish they knew from the very start.

Understanding Siblings
Understanding Siblings’ Needs (UK)

Understanding siblings’ needs has been designed to help parents who are worried about talking to siblings about their brother or sister’s life-limiting diagnosis and how it will affect them. It aims to provide reassurance to family members about having these difficult conversations, and gives prompts on how to broach the subject and make sure siblings’ needs don’t get forgotten.


Who's who

Who’s Who (UK)

As a family you will come into contact with a large number of professionals who will be involved in your child’s care journey, from health, social care, education and from the statutory and voluntary sector. They all have different roles depending on their respective professions. Their common goal is to provide a service to your child and family that best meets your needs. This document gives a brief description of what each one does.