Supporting Children and Youth Coping with Unresolved Loss June 21, 2023
Ambiguous loss occurs when a parent is physically or emotionally absent, whether due to placement in foster care, incarceration, substance use, or physical or mental health struggles. Children facing ambiguous loss are dealing with grief, uncertainty, confusion, and many other conflicting emotions. Ambiguous loss can cause challenging reactions and affect a child’s behavior, relationships, and learning. Understanding ambiguous loss, its impact on children, and how to promote resiliency and healthy coping is important for both child welfare intervention and prevention communities.