An estimated one out of every 15 children will suffer the loss of a parent or sibling before they reach the age of 18. Over 4.8 million youth are bereaved, and the number more than doubles by age 25, to 12.7 million. Childhood bereavement is a prevalent and critical public health issue that can have a profound impact on future wellbeing. These statistics don’t account for the number of children who lose a “parental figure,” such as a grandparent or other relative that provides care. It is estimated that 73,000 children die every year in the United States. Of those children, 83 percent have surviving siblings.
These statistics are explained in The Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM), a quantitative statistical tool developed by Judi’s House/JAG Institute that uses population metrics to approximate prevalence rates of U.S. children and youth who will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they reach adulthood. Learn more www.judishouse.org/CBEM
Yet despite these astounding statistics, support services for grieving children are not widely available and often transitory. Unfortunately, there is no government or insurance funding and as a result, these programs are only possible because of the generosity of donors and volunteers.