When a child dies, grief can devastate a family. Bereaved Families of Ontario - Hamilton/Burlington (BFO-HB) has been helping the bereaved deal with the grief caused by the death of a child since 1988. Bereaved Families is the only organization in Ontario whose primary mandate is to provide support services to families where a child has died.
Bereaved Families of Ontario began in 1977 when a small group of grieving parents came together at The Hospital for Sick Children to share the pain of the death of their children. It sprang out of a need for a very special kind of support that these parents could not find elsewhere. Their mutual support of one another expanded to welcome and include others who were also experiencing a life-altering loss and inconsolable grief.
Now, years later, Bereaved Families of Ontario has affiliate chapters across Ontario—such as our own Hamilton/Burlington (South Central) chapter—all working to help grieving families cope with the death that has forever changed their lives. And while we focus mainly on families who have experienced the death of an infant or a child, our broader mandate is to offer non-denominational mutual aid and support for other family members and individuals who have lost a significant person to death. BFO-HB also engages in outreach activities for the whole community, educating and sensitizing health care professionals, clergy, school social workers, educators, employers, the business community and the general public to the impact of grief in general and to the needs of bereaved children and adults in particular.
The BFO-HB program model is distinctive in that all group facilitators are bereaved individuals who have participated in a Bereaved Families of Ontario support group at one time and have received professional training to become group facilitators. We are the bereaved helping the bereaved. We do this through self-help support programs, group sessions, one-on-one support and specialized workshops. One of the greatest strengths of the organization rests on the drive and commitment of our compassionate and dedicated volunteers.
Over the years, Bereaved Families of Ontario - Hamilton/Burlington has expanded its range of services in order to meet the needs of the community it serves. Visit "Our Programs" for further information.