Bereavement – Community Advisory Group

Bereavement Services Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) acknowledges the power of the lived experience when responding to the needs of bereaved families whose child was cared for through CHQ and who has died. The Community Advisory Group (CAG) works in collaboration with Bereavement Services CHQ, to directly integrate the voice of bereaved family members in all aspects of service design, development and service delivery.

The purpose of the Community Advisory Group is to:

  • Provide consumer guidance and input to the strategic direction of Bereavement Services CHQ;
  • Provide consumer voice and experience to all aspects of program and project development;
  • Enable consumer advocacy with CHQ and the broader community throughout Queensland;
  • Support CHQ to achieve compliance with National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 2:  Partnering with Consumers.

Specific functions of the Community Advisory Group are:

  • Provide Bereavement Services CHQ with feedback on user needs and opinions on a variety of service components, initiatives and issues;
  • Participate on major service development projects to provide consumer input and feedback in an advisory capacity;
  • Represent the community of bereaved families whose child was cared for at CHQ and has died, and commits to honoring this collective experience by ensuring transparency in disseminating advisory group actions and updates.

Guiding Principles

  • Advisory consultation: the CAG works collaboratively with Bereavement Services CHQ about service plans and development;
  • Diversity of representation:  all efforts are made to include a balanced and diverse membership that reflects the diversity of bereavement experiences;
  • Fair and transparent:  engagement is focused on real opportunities for bereaved family members to influence decisions in relation to service development, improvement and review;
  • Timelines: whenever possible, the advisory group is offered sufficient time to provide meaningful involvement and feedback while balancing the need for timely decisions and outputs;
  • Variety of consultation methods: different methods are used to gather feedback from the extended network of bereaved family members throughout Queensland in order to broaden opportunities for participation (eg. Surveys, regional community meetings, online tools, focus groups).

The CAG is comprised of 15-20 active members. This number fluctuates over time depending on service needs and priorities. Bereaved family members who have expressed an interest in joining the CAG act as a representative with a personal lived experience with:

  • Children’s Health Queensland; and/or
  • The previous Royal Children’s Hospital or Mater Children’s Hospital; and/or
  • Other health facilities throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales who partner with CHQ as a state-wide service;
  • Being a bereaved parent who is also an employee of Children’s Health Queensland or the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The CAG also includes the following key stakeholders as associate members:

  • CHQ Bereavement Coordinator;
  • PPCS Bereavement Coordinator;
  • Additional bereaved family representatives who may be invited to attend based on need;
  • Service partners and other CHQ representatives who may be invited to attend based on need.

Meetings are held quarterly for a maximum of two hours. Additional meetings are called as necessary to address any matters referred to the committee or in respect of matters the committee wishes to pursue within its terms of reference.

Contact us

Coordinator, Bereavement Services Children’s Health Queensland
Dr Leigh Donovan, PhD, BSW, Churchill Fellow
t 07 3068 4476