Behavior & Emotional Development: Grief & Loss

The Title IV-E Program offers free trainings to San Francisco Human Services Agency staff who work with youth in foster care, group home staff, foster family agency staff, and foster parents in San Francisco.  

Most classes can be offered at an agency’s site on weekdays, evenings, or Saturdays with a minimum of 8 guaranteed participants attending the training.  Agencies can select topics from the currently offered list or request new workshops.  Our faculty can customize workshops that fit your agency's needs.

For eligibility questions and more information about scheduling classes, please contact

To register for Title IV-E classes email  

Grief & Loss in Families: When New Losses Occur, When Old Losses Resurface
Youth in foster care have commonly dealt with grief and loss for much of their lives. Explore the many aspects of grief and loss: the different stages, the fluid nature of the grief process; how youth grieve differently than adults; the kinds of losses that engender grief; and the emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms of grief and loss. Discuss how the different developmental stages of children affect how they understand loss and how they tend to react based on their developmental level. Examine methods for discussing grief and loss with youth and for fielding the questions youth may have about grief and loss. At the conclusion of this training, participants should be able to implement techniques and interventions to help youth identify loss and to help facilitate the grieving process.

Grief, Loss, Separation, & Bonding Trauma

Examine the grief and loss process as it affects children in out-of-home placement as a result of separation from caregivers and deprivation of care.  Discuss overt and covert factors that influence a child’s reaction and their perception of the losses. Explore helpful intervention strategies and support that contribute to healthy processing of the accumulated losses.  Investigate what will help children adjust in the most helpful ways possible; examine grief and loss process as it affects children in out-of-home placement.  Expand your awareness of children’s journey through out-of-home placement interaction.

Grief, Separation, & Loss Issues for Children & Adolescents in Foster Care
Foster youth need extensive support in coping with the losses they have experienced in life. Review the life experience of youth in Out-of-Home Care with multiple losses related to family, caregivers, schools and other relationships. Understand the stages of grief and loss, the grieving process and the common responses of a grieving child. Review and discuss how to work with you in addressing loss including the foundations of permanence for foster youth, things that can help in coping with an immediate loss, and how to do counseling with youth on coping with grief and loss.

Holidays & Youth in Foster Care: Helping Youth Cope with the "Holiday Blues"
Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and fun for everyone, especially for youth. They can also be a reminder of past pain and loss. As families gather to celebrate, foster care youth may become upset when their experiences don't match society's expectations. Explore techniques that may help youth deal with the grief, loss, and stress they experience during supposedly happy times.

Working with Multi-Stressed Families
When working with families with few resources in their lives, traumatic pasts, and challenged relationships within their families, it can be easy to feel some of the same loss of hope that many of them experience.  Explore the effects of separation, grief, and loss on our kids in foster care.  Additionally, focus on the communications skills required to work with children and their families.  It is our responsibility to help them experience hope that will motivate them to achieve their goals.