7 Principles of TCFV

We at TCFV believe in and work with seven important principles. Viewable in pdf format.

The Seven Principles of TCFV

The Seven principles of TCFV December 2021 pdf



  • We provide a safe space for bereaved people to grieve, heal and grow
  • We provide opportunities for them to share their grief journey by being emotionally aware and building a culture of genuine concern – one that is considerate, inclusive, non-judgemental and sensitive to the fragility of others
  • We support each other’s selfcare and wellbeing by having realistic expectations, sharing responsibilities and acknowledging that grief manifests itself differently for everyone




  • We respect that everyone has a different grief journey by actively listening with an open mind and respecting personal boundaries/confidences
  • We act with integrity in all our interactions with each other and all our stakeholders.
  • We honour decisions and commitments we make or are a part of so that people know we are consistent and can be trusted


Lived Experience


  • We build the capacity of our community, by assisting any bereaved person wishing to help others, by training and nurturing them as volunteers to provide support to the bereaved
  • We value and advocate for our lived experience as the foundation for the development of meaningful policy, programs and services for the wider society
  • We recognise that longer term bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents gain learnings and perspectives that can be valuable to recently bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents.




  • We raise awareness of bereavement and the unique needs of parents, siblings and grandparents within the general community and broader professional sector, sharing our insights and experiences
  • Acknowledging that we are part of a global community and upholding the 7 principles of The Compassionate Friends, we create a sense of community through activities, programs and events that bring bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents together
  • We are a catalyst for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents to build new ‘safe’ social networks
  • We actively seek out and appreciate the views, skills and knowledge of our members, the wider community, our service partners and other organisations with whom we share a common Vision

We live in a community where every bereaved parent, sibling and grandparent can access support throughout their grief journey.

We offer lived experience to support people to grieve, find healing and grow through their journey of deep pain following the death, at any age and any cause, of a child, sibling or grandchild.

  1. Grow services in balance with resource capacity to be responsive to needs and contribute to community mental health and well-being.
  2. Develop and maintain a financially sustainable organisation to continue providing vital services.
  3. Improve technological capabilities to be responsive to emerging opportunities and needs of the bereaved
    1. Grow services in balance with resource capacity to be responsive to needs and contribute to community mental health and well-being.


    1. Increase accessible state-wide grief support
    • extend the state-wide availability of safe and timely opportunities for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents through place-based grief support groups and 24/7 grief telephone service
    • Promote accessible mutual grief support with no waiting list
    • Ensure all of agency commitment to trauma informed service, management and governance which acknowledges the lived experience of our members, volunteers and staff, most of whom have experience the death of a child, sibling or grandchild
    • Further develop the planned program of opportunities for the bereaved to meet together to reduce the isolation of grief, find understanding, support each other, form friendships and gather at events and memorial activities


    1. Enhance trained compassionate volunteer mutual support
    • Continued commitment to mutual support volunteering as part of the grief journey to meet with others who have experienced the death of a child, sibling or grandchild, regain confidence, gain skill, learn about grief and support others in their journey to grieve heal and grow
    • Continuously improve TCFV program of specialised, training, supervision and learning opportunities for lived experience volunteers to ensure safe, compassionate, peer support services based on ‘Towards Good Practice: Standards and Guidelines for Suicide Bereavement Support Groups’ Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, Lifeline Australia (2009)


    1. Be responsive to needs of grievers
      • remain responsive to the support and information needs of grievers following the death of a child, sibling or grandchild e.g. the newly bereaved, those bereaved by suicide and those who have experienced multiple loss


    1. Increase promotions, community education and partnerships
    • promote the work of TCFV in the community and with partners to raise awareness of the availability of support for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents
    • raise awareness of the needs of the bereaved, grief, support and the work of TCFV and to do this through volunteer-based community education and communication through greater use of the internet and social media.


    1. Develop and maintain a financially sustainable organisation to continue providing vital services.


    • Raise awareness of policy makers, funders and community to the essential role and funding needs of TCFV’s lived experience volunteer and mutual support service.
    • Seek funding to ensure a sustainable staffing structure
    • Sustain ongoing efforts to build stable short term and long-term funding streams from diverse sources of government, corporate, members and community channels.
    • Grow fundraising events/appeals, sponsorship and donations through improving donor data management, regular engagements, donor relationships and increased networking.
    • Channel membership support for TCFV’s work into community fundraising, sensitively regulated giving programs including regular giving, donation appeals, memorial trusts and gifting in wills.
    • Strive to operate as efficiently as possible. Set responsible budgets and maintain rigorous cost control measures.


    1. Improve technological capabilities to be responsive to emerging opportunities and needs of the bereaved.


    • Develop effective use of IT to improve communication, service and financial management
    • Manage cybersecurity risks and implement IT audit review and improvement processes
    • Develop and implement staff and volunteer training program to enable their positive and safe engagements with use of technology.

The Compassionate Friends acknowledges the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their customs, traditions and to elders past, present and emerging.