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AASW Webinar Recording | Supporting families experiencing non-finite loss and grief due to chronic illness or lifelong disability

Event Details
Date: Ongoing
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5 hours
CPD Category: 2 - Skills and Knowledge

Refer to listing

Organiser: AASW


[email protected]

(03) 9320 1000


Watch the 1.5 hour recording of AASW's Supporting families experiencing non-finite loss and grief due to chronic illness or lifelong disability webinar.

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to any significant loss, whether that is a bereavement loss or non-death loss. Whilst an understanding of grief associated with the loss of a loved one is more commonly discussed, the grief or chronic sorrow associated with a living loss, one that is a non-finite and ambiguous loss, is often misunderstood.

The grief experience of parents and carers living with a child with a disability or chronic illness is unique and lifelong. As clinicians working with these families, social workers need to ensure that their work reflects an understanding and normalisation of the family’s experience of non-finite and ambiguous loss, and grief interventions that promote resilience.

This webinar will review the body of literature around living losses, help clinicians understand the complexity of the grief and loss experience in the context of a child’s disability or chronic illness, and explore the impact on individuals and family systems. Case studies will be used to share the parents and carers’ perspective and identify relevant strategies for the clinician in promoting resilience in circumstances of ambiguous and non-finite loss.

"Alana is incredibly experienced and the case studies really helped bring the information to life in understanding" webinar participant, September 2022.

Who should register? Evolving and established social work and allied health practitioners who would like to learn more about non-finite and ambiguous loss and grief, and how to better support clients.

1.5 hours of CPD activity: Category 2, skills and knowledge
AASW Credential: Mental health (FPS); Disability

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify concepts of non-finite loss, ambiguous loss, anticipatory grief, chronic sorrow, disenfranchised grief and denial.
  • Consider non-finite loss and grief theories and perspectives, defining overlapping and distinguishing features from bereavement focused theories.
  • Reflect on case-based experiences of living loss through case examples from a health setting of children with acquired brain injury, lifelong disability, limb difference and chronic illness.
  • Implement strategies and therapeutic interventions to support resilience in families and carers experiencing non-finite loss and grief.


Alana English (BSW, BA (Psych) has worked as a Clinical Social Worker for 25+ years, with the last 13 years being with Qld Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, at Mater Children’s Hospital and Queensland Children’s Hospital. Currently, in addition to her own private practice, in which she offers organisational training and clinical supervision, Alana works with the Queensland Paediatric Sepsis Program. This role focuses on development and implementation of a family support structure, including a post sepsis model of care for families with a child diagnosed with sepsis.

Alana has worked in a variety of clinical and program positions, including hospital based Social Work, paediatric rehabilitation, child and youth mental health, and organisational psychology (workplace-based training and counselling). Across her career, she has remained passionate about supporting children, young people and families with their experience of grief and loss, using a strengths-based approach which validates their individual experience and promotes resilience.

Method of delivery

Once you have registered for this recording, all online content is available to view at your convenience via the AASW online on-demand training platform.

Please ensure that your email address is accurate and updated when you register.

Subtitles are available.


The webinar recording duration is 1.5 hours.


This recording can be claimed for CPD purposes, consistent with the CPD Goals and Hours Requirements.

Find out more today about opportunities to have your specialised social work skills recognised.


Members: $75.00 (including GST)
New graduates, retired and student members: $45.00 (including GST)
Non-members: $120.00 (including GST)
Non-member students: $90.00 (including GST)


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AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers