SIDS Program Manual SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide Trainer's Guide

Bereavement Support Services

Culturally-Competent Support Services

Across all cultures, the parent-child relationship is, and has been, the most enduring and significant.12 Parents’ cultural and religious background influences their views on death, parents and families are assimilated into life in the United States, they may rely on their cultural backgrounds and traditions when a death occurs.

Culturally-appropriate bereavement care requires open and respectful communication. Such communication is difficult when there are cultural differences between the family and health care providers. The difficulty may be increased when language, religious and class differences also exist. Some areas where differences may occur include:

Culturally-Competent Support
  • Meaning and understanding of the cause of death
  • Value of the infant or child
  • Meaning of pain and suffering
  • Role of the family in the decision-making process
  • Appropriate role of the health care professional
  • Care of the body after death
  • Appropriate expressions of grief