Family support events
After a burn or scald injury the problems and concerns for parents and siblings are considerable. They must try to understand both what has happened and the impact on their lives and family relationships. Our interactive Family Support events bring together NHS professionals and a number of family groups in order to share common questions and to understand the psycho-social issues for not only the child themselves but for parents, siblings and other family members too.
Since 2005 we have provided a residential programme that involves the family of a burn injured child. This programme invites the whole family to a weekend where they meet other families in the same situation.
COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns have meant that we had to change the way we deliver this vital form of support, and in January 2021 we held our first Virtual Family Support Event. One of the wonderful benefits of technology is that there is the potential for far more families to attend, and the programme of content be even richer. In addition to the information-based sessions run by NHS professionals and the informal opportunities to connect and share experiences with other families, the virtual programme also includes activities such as music classes to engage the child and siblings.
Many parents experience a terrible sense of guilt surrounding the circumstances of their child’s accident. This family programme enables them to discuss issues surrounding the child’s burn openly with people who understand the emotions that they are experiencing.
The effects of a burn injury on siblings is all too easily forgotten. Including them in the virtual or residential experience can help them come to terms with the changes in family life following an injury.