View Full Version : When a loved one dies, how are relatives notified?

09-28-2010, 04:12 AM
Characters lose their parents in car accident. Who assumes the duty of approaching their children and how would they break that kind of news?

EDIT: characters are about 9 to 10 years old.

09-28-2010, 05:11 AM
A lot depends on the age of your characters. Young children would be approached much differently from young adults. Puma

09-28-2010, 05:23 AM
Normally, the police department will take that responsibility. No one actually wants the job, of course. It would be someone who was at the scene.

They will notify them in person whenever possible. A knock on the door is the typical way, but if circumstances dictate they will call the surviving family into the police station.

This also depends on the age of the children. Young children require a specialist, such as a child psychologist. If there are other relatives such as aunts or uncles, grandparents, or adult siblings, the police will get ahold of them first. If not, you're looking at a child in a room with a psychologist and/or child protective services.

09-28-2010, 05:24 AM
The police have special officers trained for this.

If the children are young, social services would be involved as well.

09-28-2010, 05:46 AM
Characters are ~ 9 to 10 years.

09-28-2010, 07:01 AM
Carefully. I lost my mom VERY suddenly seven years ago. A few short sentences are fine. As in, "Your ---- has gone to Heaven and you won't see her again, but she is always with you"

09-28-2010, 08:29 PM
It's not always the police. In many cases the accident victims are taken to the hospital emergency room. CPR is performed on them until they get to where a doctor can make the evaluation whether it's worth continuing artificial life prolonging measures.

In New York State, neither police officers nor EMT persons can pronounce people dead. If there is ANY chance they can be revived, they are taken to the hospital. I've seen EMT's take half a body to the ER, leaving both legs behind (they were crushed and severed from the body. The man lived.

If the victim is obviously beyond revival (decapitated, head crushed, etc.) The police will call for the coroner or Medical Examiner to pronounce the victim dead at the scene, or they will pronounce him dead on arrival (DOA).

To get back to the OP's question, In the case of an accident, the police would pass the duty on to the hospital. In other cases, a large police department may have a psychologist or a Chaplin to handle this duty. A smaller department would either turn it over to child protection services or have them assist.