Forever in Our Hearts Programs and Services
Forever in Our Hearts is a special section of Good Beginnings that focuses exclusively on offering bereavement support and services to families who have experienced a loss in the NICU and to the staff who cared for them.
Forever in Our Hearts Memorial Event
In February of each year, a special gathering of families and staff is held to honor the babies who have died. Families have an opportunity to meet others who have experienced a loss, hear their stories and take part in our ceremony. On display at the event are memorial quilts containing squares prepared by individual families in memory of their baby. Families are invited to return to this event each year as a special time to remember and honor the memory of their infant.
Good Beginnings, in conjunction with NICU staff and social workers, is developing a comprehensive resource guide that would include current information on local support groups, therapists, bereavement literature and suggested reading on coping with infant death. If you have any suggestions or comments, please enter them here.
Good Beginnings provides links to current information on local cemeteries. The bereavement resource guide offers ideas for planning a service or commemorating the life of an infant. Our parent-to-parent program can provide connections with other families who may be able to offer additional insight and help to families who are struggling to make decisions and plans immediately after a death.
Good Beginnings maintains and stocks this special room with preemie clothes, blankets, hats, appropriate music, books, and bathing supplies for families whose infants are very ill and close to dying, making it a sacred "goodbye space" when needed.
In the event of anticipated death, a team of NICU staff and volunteers is being organized to provide the availability of photography service seven days a week to photograph a baby (with the family, if desired) so that the family may have lasting concrete memories of their child.
After the passing of a baby, a beautiful memory box, containing small personal belongings of the baby, including keepsake footprints, is prensented to the family.
Good Beginnings offers ongoing contact and support to families who have endured the loss of an infant, which may include cards, invitations to events and workshops, and parent-to-parent connections with parents who have previously experienced the loss of an infant at Cedars-Sinai.
Bereavement Sensitivity Education and Training
Good Beginnings actively participates with the Pediatric and NICU staff in designing and improving educational opportunities, competency tests, and sensitivity training, surrounding end of life issues and bereavement support for staff who work in the NICU.
We are also developing a bereavement sensitivity program to be launched in 2008. This interdisciplinary seminar will strive to continue to educate and enlighten staff on the latest research and approaches used to support families going through infant loss.
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