Children’s grief project

“Increasing the capacity of SPOC through the development of a support system for children that are experiencing grief”


The project “Increasing the capacity of SPOC through the development of a support system for children that are experiencing grief” is funded by The NGO support program in Bulgaria under the Financial mechanism of the European economic area 2009-2014

Contrary to the other European countries, in Bulgaria the question about the consequences for children, experiencing grief, who have not overcome the trauma from their tragic experience, has not been raised. There is a lack of extensevely developed and fully embedded system for counseling and intervention, taking into consideration all the various multicultural, traditional and domestic pecularitites within the socium in each separate community. Both parents and relatives do not dispose with the capacity for carrying out diagnostics and communicating the problem, prior to its escalation to the level of traumatic and post-traumatic dimensions. Experts from NGO, social service system and directorates for work with children, public administration- pedagogues, physicians and school counsellors do not have the access to a specialized and a professional system for preventive, anticipatory and primary support in their interaction with children who have lost a family member, a relative, a classmate or a friend. The absence of a thorough abilities leads to the neglecting of the problem, named “children’s grief”, and subsequently to problems, resulting from that and deteriorating to the stage of a “complex grief”, including heavy psychological and physical consequences, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Children’s reactions within their subcultural groups are controversial, in connection with receiving aid from the adults. Generally speaking, younger mourners experience more difficulties following the loss than the older ones. Children depend on the positive support from the specialists regarding the understanding of death and to learn how to overcome the pain. Proposing a new and an innovative for our country psychosocial system, involving experts, who possess therapy methods and are well acquainted with the pecularitites of the cultures, including minorities and Roma community. is of a crucial significance for increasing the presence of the organization as a supporting factor. Transforming the Norwegian financial and organizational experience and best practices for children counseling is of great importance for increasing the capacity of SPOC and by conducting presentations and trainings- for addressing other NGO and stakeholders in Bulgaria.

The project is necessary due to the lack of sufficient capacity for supporting children in their efforts to cope with grief as well as the ignorence, demonstrated towrds the multicultural specifics of the grief. The loss of children’s relatives carries potential risk, leading to difficulties in the school performance and the appearance in the socium. Families are struggling for the communication with their children, experiencing grief. In over 20% of the occasions, a “complex grief” occurs with its heavy physical and mental consequences. SPOC, as an organization supporting children and their families by carrying out therapies and consultations, needs to improve its capacity and expertise in the work with children from various cultures, as well as from an additional resources including strategic planning skills, financial provisioning for prevention and intervention of people at need of support services.

Project objectives:

The project aims to increase the capacity of SPOC for implementing a new for Bulgaria psychosocial system by using best practices from the project partner, joint publications and surveying experts.


Beneficiaries on the project are: experts from SPOC, NGO and public institutions; decision-makers; youth volunteers; children incl. children from the minorities and Roma children.

Project partners:

Voksne for Barn (Adults for Children) is an organization, situated in Oslo, Norway. Established in 1960 as an organization for children’s support. It is founded by a group of devoted mothers and professionals, who want the best for their children and juveniles. Primary goal of the organization is to promote the mental healthcare for children and youth in Norway.

Activities within the project:

  • Activity 1: Strengthening the organizational and financial sustainability of SPOC;
  • Activity 2: Survey on topic: “How do we understand grief, how to consult?”;
  • Activity 3: Increasing the capacity of SPOC by creating a support system for children experiencing grief;
  • Activity 4: Training seminar for the developed system;
  • Activity 5: Conduct of a round table for discussing and popularizing the psychosocial system;
  • Activity 6: Visualization and publicity;
  • Activity 7: Project management;

Go to Top