Child welfare agencies are offering support to the families of the children they have lost, as families struggle to cope.
Child protection authorities in Northern Ireland are also offering help to the bereaved.
But what is child welfare?
The word child is derived from the Old English word childre, meaning “a young person”.
“Child welfare” means that a child’s needs are addressed by an adult in a care environment, rather than being left to the care of a child, the Department of Social Protection (DSPS) said in a statement.
“The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has worked with local authorities and voluntary organisations across Northern Ireland to ensure that the needs of vulnerable children are addressed.”
It said that when a child is lost, it can be difficult for families to recover from the loss.
“In some cases, the care and support of a family may be required to ensure the wellbeing of the child,” the statement said.
“For many families this can mean moving, staying with friends or relatives, or even travelling to a distant country to receive the child’s final medical care.”
In Northern Ireland, the family member who has lost a child must have been aged under 14 when the child died.
The DCF said in the statement that the DCF would be working with local and community authorities to ensure local children and young people’s services are able to support the families affected by the loss of a loved one.
In Northern Irish communities, many people have lost a loved parent or child in a tragic accident, but the family is not able to take legal action against the perpetrator.
In some communities, the offender remains on the streets, often for a long time, awaiting trial.
In those cases, local authorities will help to provide support for families.
In the DSCPS statement, it said that the agency has worked closely with local community groups to provide resources for people in the community to support their families, and to offer information about children’s care.
It also said that DSCP was working with the Children’s Commissioner to “provide support for parents and carers, and provide information on how to best support children who have been lost”.
The agency said it is also working with community organisations and voluntary groups to support people in Northern Irish local authorities who are struggling to find the resources they need to provide a range of support to their families.DSCPS is the Northern Ireland child protection agency.