• Resources for Parents and Guardians

    This page provides resources to help parents navigate difficult conversations and life events with their children. In addition to RCPS counselors, who are always available to our families, these external resources provide additional support. 

    Families needing help with a question or concern in the school system should contact their school or the Constituent Services Office.

    When the News Causes Uncertainty

    From time to time, events in the news can cause us to feel uneasy and uncertain. This includes our students. They need to be able to express themselves. Below are resources to help parents and guardians have conversations about difficult events. Our counselors are also always here if you need additional support.

    National Association of School Psychologists     NPR: What to say to children when the news is scary     Sesame Street Family Resources: Grief

    Bereavement Reactions of Children & Young People by Age Group

    Key points to remember about bereavement reactions in children and young people:

    • how any child or young person grieves when someone they love has died will depend on many things
    • babies, children and teenagers tend to grieve in bursts, and at other times will look for reassurance and comfort in their normal routines and activities
    • bereaved children and teenagers will need ongoing attention, reassurance and support - it is not unusual for grief to resurface later on, even well after the death


  • How does a child or young person grieve?

  • How do babies and toddlers grieve?

  • How do preschoolers grieve?

  • How do primary school children grieve?

  • How do older children (10-12 years) grieve?

  • How do teenagers grieve?

  • What should I do if I'm worried about my grieving child?

  • What do bereaved children and teenagers need?

  • Helping Kids Cope with the Death of Friends and Classmates: How to explain a tragic death of a classmate to their peers and friends

  • Mental Health Support

    Should your family need assistance with concerns such as depression, anxiety, or trauma, immediate support is available by calling:

    • Carilion CONNECT at (540) 981-8181
    • Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare:
      • For 24-Hour Crisis Services, please call (540) 981-9351
      • For initial visits, please call (540) 343-3007
      • Parents/guardians who need support may also call the Parent Support Line 24/7 at 1-800-632-8188
    • Intercept CrisisOne is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at (540) 315-6659