Documenting and formalising the Uniting GriefWork model
Uniting GriefWork is a free service offered to people living in Victoria who have been bereaved by the work-related death of a loved one.
Uniting GriefWork is a free service offered to people living in Victoria who have been bereaved by the work-related death of a loved one. This program has been structured as a companioning service model to support individual grief and was developed by the Creative Ministries Network (CMN), a charitable Uniting agency.
Based on previous work that Community Works had successfully conducted for another Uniting agency, CMN approached us with the aim of documenting the Program Design of their service. Ruth Lancaster was the person in charge of managing this work as part of the Community Works team.
To begin, Ruth conducted qualitative research by engaging current and past clients, and other key stakeholders, in a number of interviews to listen to their experience in relation to the service and the impact of work-place death on their lives. She also had constant interaction with Uniting GriefWork staff and directors to identify the key customer values, policies and procedures, as well as other insights into the program.
Besides these interactions, Ruth studied GriefWork’s documentation, conducted a literature review and analysed current theories with regard to traumatic grief as well as assessed other similar companioning models researched by Carolina Bermudez, another Community Works’ team member. Ingrid Horton produced a range of graphics to enable the report to communicate complex analyses in a visual way.
With all of this in mind Ruth developed a program design that included the program objectives, program logic, theory of change, operations, outcomes and recommendations, as well as research-based analysis about grief and other companioning models.
The analysis and formalisation of the model has been a significant contribution to Uniting, providing rigour to their programme. Having a document that contains the fundamental elements of the service and demonstrates how it operates, will allow Uniting to orient and strengthen their practice, as well as share the core details of their service with external stakeholders and organisations that are interested.