When families lose a baby, either during pregnancy or after the baby is born, the pain is intense. For African American families of faith, the yearning for a helpful and supportive response from their faith community is enormous. Providing that support in ways that are helpful is a challenge to the African American faith community. While African American families are disproportionately affected by stillbirth and infant mortality, they are overall less likely to access bereavement support resources. Families often cite a lack of recognition of their need for support within the network of support in their own faith community. Many note that the request for support is viewed as a “lack of faith” and they often forgo peer support or professional bereavement services.
To respond to the needs of families within their faith community, the National Center for Cultural Competence—Sudden Unexpected Infant and Child Death and Pregnancy Loss Project (SUID/CD/PL) and National SUID/CD/PL Program Support Center at First Candle have partnered to create the African American Faith-Based Bereavement Initiative (AAFBBI.) The AAFBBI was created specifically for the African American Christian faith community to improve supports for families experiencing these losses. This training is available on-line at http://nccc.georgetown.edu/AAFBBI/index.html. In addition, a set of individuals in some states are available to provide this training in person. For more information contact: Suzanne Bronheim at the National Center for Cultural Competence email@example.com.