Standards and Positions

NACG Standards of Practice


This document provides professional Standards of Practice for organizations or individuals offering bereavement support services or counseling to children or teenagers grieving a death. While the intention of the document is not to govern the services of professionals, we believe these standards provide a guide to best practices. It was written by professionals throughout the childhood bereavement field (listed at the end of the document) and reflects the values and practices of a variety of support models. This is a “living” document reviewed periodically by the NACG Board of Directors . We welcome comments from our membership.

Core Values & Guiding Principles

Dignity, Respect, and Right to Self-Determination We believe in the dignity and worth of the individual, including the individual’s ability to heal, and their right to be understood, heard and supported during bereavement. We respect each individual’s right to self-determination, understanding that each person’s grief is unique, including their cultural background, family beliefs, individual personality, relationship with the person who died, and personal grieving style.

NACG Plagiarism Declaration

It is the practice of the NACG to praise the value of original writing and original thought and expression. For this reason, we also value: honoring integrity, as displayed through honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility, giving credit where credit is due, and asking for permission to use someone else’s original work. The NACG encourages a culture of sharing best practices and research. To honor the integrity of original information, it is important to give credit where credit is due and ask for permission to use someone else’s original work.

NACG Languaging Guide

Language helps us shape the way we give and receive information. Over time, language changes to describe the world more accurately. The NACG is committed to systematically reviewing our language to help ensure we are using the most up-to-date and inclusive language in our NACG materials. We will not be removing retired language and guiding principles from this document as the content in this guide changes, rather, we will be including them in a section entitled “No Longer in Use” with an explanation of why that language or guiding principle is no longer used by the NACG. We wish to make our learning and rationale for our choices as transparent as possible.

NACG Anti-Racism Statement

There is grief, trauma, and pain in communities across America.

Our grief unifies us.  We are in this together.

We will always use our voice to acknowledge the systemic racism and injustice in our society, and we are advocating for equity, inclusivity, and the protection of each and every child.

Supporting a bereaved child involves compassion and commitment through genuinely listening and understanding their unique experience while challenging those systems that oppress children and families of color.  It is an intentional process and teaches us so much about the hope and healing that can occur when you are heard and have space.

Every person deserves this, and it is time to demand it.

To every grieving child who is facing the injustice of our society’s racism and racial prejudice: We stand with you.  We will always use our voice for you.  We offer support to and with your communities and loved ones so you are supported in your grief.