top of page
needs assessment.jpg

Book a Perinatal Bereavement
Needs Assessment

Is your facility struggling to manage or provide a standard of care for perinatal loss families? This is, unfortunately, common among healthcare systems and providers through out the country. Three Little Birds can help by offering a needs assessment to help identify easy solutions to common problems, glean issues from staff and find ways to help bridge the gap for both patient and provider when a baby passes away.

What is a perinatal bereavement needs assessment?

Three Little Birds offers a perinatal bereavement needs assessment to healthcare facilities or providers to ascertain the quality and efficacy of resources, comfort/support items and training among the staff who walk the journey of miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. We conduct this process through a one hour (virtual or in-person) meeting with the bereavement representatives of Labor and Delivery Units, Neonatal Intensive Care Units, Maternal Fetal Medicine or OBGYN offices.

What are the goals of the assessment?

The primary goals of the perinatal bereavement needs assessment are:

  • To identify and review the current established process for perinatal bereavement care from moment of notification, to discharge, as well as post-partum.

  • To discuss what options are provided to families for disposition to help offset unexpected financial burdens

  • To listen to staff's concerns from lived experiences and professional training in regards to supporting perinatal bereavement.

  • To review of the quality and accuracy of printed resources for families regarding local, regional or national groups that offer virtual and in-person support.

  • To review accessibility of printed resources that reflect the demographic of the area served by the hospital.

  • To inventory current support/comfort items and books provided to families to ensure quality, quantity, consistency and inclusion/appropriateness.

  • To determine the training needs of staff in communication techniques, cultural competency and humility, methods for memory making/bonding and ability to capture photographs for the family.

Why is this assessment important?

In New Jersey, healthcare systems are required to provide a standard of care and metrics reporting thanks to the Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act. This Act, along with similar legislature passed in other states by loss parents, is helping to shatter the stigma of this life event experienced by 25% of families and provide a consistent standard of care that all parents deserve. This means direct and equal access to support for families that recognize the establishment of a bereavement support program that meets several criteria. Namely, the training of staff, access to verified resources, quality comfort/support items that support cultural, religious and personal diversity of families and more. Enforcement of this Act by the Department of Health is forthcoming, requiring providers to report on these instances and maintain compliance with it's mandates.

What are the intended outcomes of the assessment?

Upon completion of the assessment, Three Little Birds will provide a report to the facility outlining our meeting, findings and suggestions of how and where we can bridge the gap. If your state has legislature enforcing perinatal bereavement care, we will provide you with a sample report of where we feel the facility would rank if evaluated by the Department of Health or governing agency.

If requested/where appropriate, Three Little Birds can provide a personalized and itemized proposal of support to fill in the gaps and add value to ensure direct, equal and consistent access to appropriate care for perinatal loss families. This includes routine and continuing training of staff through our Provider Training Program, establishing a pool of volunteer advocates to serve families bedside, the facilitation of photography sessions, including editing and distribution of photo galleries, post-partum follow up and access to the nest of support Three Little Birds offers through our peer-led program. For organizations/providers within our service region, we can customize a proposal to provide third-party bereavement management services specific to your patients.

 

For organizations outside of our service region, we can coordinate the resources within your community and provide you with the guidelines to establish these programs yourself, at very little cost.

The overarching goal is to establish consistency of care at the healthcare level, while shattering the global stigma families face when walking this journey.

What is the cost of the assessment?

For providers in the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey region, the assessment and report is free ($550 value). For providers outside the region, we can provide this assessment for a $250 donation to our non-profit project. Please reach out to us for more information.

What are some commonly identified trends from completed assessments?

Below is an overview of commonly identified trends that we have discovered through recently completed assessments:

  • Bedside providers feel at a loss as to how to have uncomfortable conversations and answering difficult conversations regarding bonding with baby, memory making, religious rites, post mortem testing and disposition considerations.

  • Organizations do not adequately budget for comfort and support items and rely on generous donations from families or support groups to supply them. This has caused an inconsistency in items provided and sometimes their quality is lacking (specifically, teddy bears and memory boxes).

  • Providers do not have adequate storage space for donations, memory making items and necessary support items. Additionally, often times there is an overflow of lesser used items (large baskets or boxes of books), and a lack of commonly used items (blankets, memory making supplies, etc).

  • Printed resources are not routinely verified/vetted for updates, contact information, dates/meeting times, etc. Many of the resources being provided are from pre-Covid 19 pandemic times and do not offer updated contact information or details on the new virtual support options that have been developed since.

  • The burden of care usually falls on one or two specific individuals who may have more experience serving perinatal bereavement. This results in quick burnout for those personnel and a high turn over of staff.

  • There is an often an inconsistency in the support,  resources and items offered between care units (stillbirth vs. NICU loss).

What information will the report provide?

Three Little Birds will provide a comprehensive report on the facilities particular processes for various scenarios and specific needs, as well as an inventory of staff feedback, support items and various suggestions and options that are available to fill the identified gaps. This includes suggestions for trainings, support items and methods to improve and institute best care practices.

Once the report is complete, how can we implement the recommended action items?

For providers in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region, a partnership proposal can be provided specific to the needs of your facility and local community. This partnership generally includes the implementation of a Bedside Bereavement Program, specific and routinely maintained resources (multiple languages, paperback books, local providers), comfort and support items (self care bags, stuffed animals, etc) and memory making support items (boxes, hand/foot creations, bereavement support carts), metrics and patient information reporting, training of staff, post-partum follow up and more.  Additionally, we provide quarterly on-site inventories of supplies and resources, mini continuing education session and photography demonstrations.

For providers outside the region, we can also develop a partnership proposal, however, it will need to be customized and will require additional research. This will also include a customized space on our webpage (with a private link), virtual management support and more.

What are the benefits of a Partnership ?

For providers in the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey region, Three Little Birds provides a nest of peer-led support not just for the patients walking this journey but for the providers that support them. Our organization consists of loss families and active/retired healthcare providers who have also walked the journey with families dozens of times.

Through a Partnership, Three Little Birds can assist your organization by bridging identified gaps, offering low-cost solutions, offer tax-exempt purchase and maintenance of resources and support items and most importantly, provide consistency in the care received by families in what is appropriate for them not just situationally (miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss) but also personally, culturally, religiously, etc. We can also support the facilitation, editing and distribution of family galleries through our gift of infant remembrance portraiture. Our program is provided at no cost to the family. Lastly, we can ensure compliance with all internal process/procedures and local, state and federal legislature and professional training requirements regarding perinatal bereavement best care practices.

Most importantly, you will guarantee families have access to the nest of support they deserve post-partum, immediately and long-term. By providing this validation of support immediately upon notification of loss, families will be more likely to find support after discharge so they can explore their grief, make meaningful connections with others and find creative ways to honor and parent their baby.

What other services and programs do you offer?

Three Little Birds has supported more than 400 families through the experience of pregnancy and infant loss, at no cost to them, through our various services and prorams. To learn more about our offerings, support groups and signature events, please check out our main website.

Book your assessment

PHILADELPHIA/SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY PROVIDERS

Email us for more information on how to schedule your free bereavement needs assessment with Three Little Birds.

PROVIDERS OUTSIDE REGION

Email us for more information on how to schedule your free bereavement needs assessment with Three Little Birds.

bottom of page