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Children’s Funeral Fund: What you need to know

The death of a child is heart breaking, and something no parent ever wants to consider or prepare for. Having to organise a ceremony, and the accompanying financial strain, are sure to add to the stress of grieving parents.

In 2019 the British government recognised the hardship and pain of grieving parents, and launched the Children’s Funeral Fund, which is dedicated to helping cover the financial costs of a young child’s ceremony. Announcing the fund, Justice Minister Edward Argar explained: “While nothing can ever remove the pain that bereaved families experience… the Children’s Funeral Fund will provide bereaved parents with much-needed support and I am proud to have worked alongside such dedicated campaigners to make this important scheme a reality.”

Why the Children’s Funeral Fund was established
According to the Independent, 6,000 children below the age of 18 pass away in the UK each year, and as many as 3,400 children are lost during pregnancy after 24 weeks. The fund can’t take away the emotional hardship of this difficult time, but it can help alleviate some of the financial burden thousands of grieving families face across the UK.

Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris has campaigned for greater support for grieving parents since losing her 8-year-old son in 1989, and championed the Children’s Funeral Fund. In 2016, political parties offered unified support for a fund to help parents cover the cost of their children’s ceremonies, and the fund was established in 2019.

Eligibility for the Children’s Funeral Fund
Parents of children under the age of 18, and stillborn children who pass after the 24th week of pregnancy, are eligible for support if the ceremony takes place in England. Elsewhere in the UK, other forms of support include Scotland’s Funeral Support Payment. Funds can be used to help cover various costs, such as establishing a memorial. A full list of eligibility criteria and claimable fess can be found in the government’s Technical Guidance Sheet (PDF).

How much does the Children’s Funeral Fund cover
The Children’s Funeral Fund can cover up to £2,000 of costs, including a contribution towards the casket amounting to £300. The amount is based on the cost of the ceremony alone and has no bearing on the parents’ personal income. The government’s Technical Guidance Sheet (PDF) contains a detailed breakdown of what the fund covers.

For more information
If you require further information about the Children’s Funeral Fund, we recommend visiting the government’s website: where you’ll find advice, as well as details of bereavement services available through your local council.