Paediatric End-of-Life Care Communication

These modules are written for Health Care Professionals to support communication at end-of-life in paediatrics. By the end of this course, participants will be able to engage authentically and effectively with young people, families, and colleagues about end-of-life care in paediatrics.

The content of the modules is designed and provided by families with experience in end-of-life care for children, and the health care professionals who provide support for them. We thank them for their courage, wisdom, and humanity in sharing the stories and learnings. 

May this work bring excellence in our responses. 

Course Format

This course is a build of learning modes which begins with a baseline in communication pre-learning, and then uses e-learning modules with case examples, reflective practice and principle-based objectives to support learning. 

We strongly recommend that you complete a baseline communication course such as:

PCC4U End-of-Life Essentials

You could also look at local training face to face or fee-based training, such as state-based workshops, or the following:

VitalTalk Resources

The modules are based in self-directed learning and reflection and are not formally assessed with an exam or marked paper. Participants will be able to download a Record of Participation for their professional development portfolios.

Important Concepts and Content

We suggest that you follow the numbered order in completing the modules however they can each stand-alone. You may find the content challenging at times, so you could consider doing the Self-Care module early. If you encounter any difficulties working through these modules, please email us at; We ask you to complete brief "before and after" questionnaires for our quality and learning and for reporting- your personal details will not be included in any reports or publications.

Module 1 and 2 Image Module 3 and 4 Image

Communicating with Children & Connecting with Adolescents and Young Adults

Understanding Emotion & Shared Decision Making

Modules 1 and 2 each develop a platform of understanding around how to work with babies, children, and young people in our care. 

The modules are based on the ‘voice’ of each age group, and how best to use the principles of relating and connecting to optimise choice, control, and care.

Modules 3 and 4 use thoughtful conversation and effective partnering to upskill our advanced communication skills during end-of-life care. 

These modules guide the learner towards an exploration of the needs and perspectives of families, as well as tools to practice contemporary approaches in their engagements.

The principles of listen, notice and explore evolve through these modules, building care-provision partnerships between families and health care professionals.

Start Module 1 Start Module 2

Start Module 3 Start Module 4

Module 5 and 6 Image Module 7 and 8 Image

Moral Distress & Self-Care

Diversity & Teamwork

Modules 5 and 6 were written to build capacity for reflection and resilience.

The most frequent tool we employ in the care of families at this time in their lives is Communication, and it is often the most taxing. 

Our families have access to extensive therapeutic options, an overwhelming amount of information, and they know their rights as decision makers. To be the most effective in this work we must also understand and look after ourselves.

Modules 7 and 8 extend the communication framework beginning with a Diversity lens where we look at understanding, positive readiness, and appreciation of variable factors in ourselves and the families and communities we serve. 

The last module explores how we best work in teams to deliver the collaborative family centered care that’s needed, starting with recognising and actioning referral through to team competencies and attributes.

Start Module 5 Start Module 6

Start Module 7 Start Module 8


These modules were developed under the Paediatric Palliative Care National Action Plan Project.

This project was funded by the Australian Government.

They are aligned with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and the National Consensus Statement for Paediatric End-of-Life Care, PCC4U Capabilities and ICPCN Learning Outcomes.

The Writing Group for these modules is:
  • Ms. Dee Chilcott, Consumer Rep (Bereaved Mother), Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Ms. Rachel Callander, Consumer (Bereaved Mother), Healthcare Communication Consultant
  • Dr. Lisa Cuddeford, Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine, Perth Children’s Hospital, WA
  • A.Prof Stuart Ekberg, Flinders University, SA
  • Ms. Alyson Gundry, Allied Health Clinical Lead, E-PPCS | Paediatric Palliative Care Service
  • Ms. Melissa Heywood, Clinical Nurse Consultant, VPPCS
  • Dr. Sid Vemuri, Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine, VPPCS
  • Ms. Sara Fleming, NP, PCA Project Consultant

Special thanks to Rachel Callander for providing original photography and imagery used throughout this course.