SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed the establishment of the Child Funeral Fund.
It will provide a one-off payment of £3,056 to help families with funeral costs for a child under 18 or a still-birth after 24 weeks.
Mr Durkan paid tribute to campaigners who had been working to establish support for bereaved parents.
Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said:
“I welcome the announcement that the Child Funeral Fund is now operational and that every family across the North who loses a child will now receive this support. I know campaigners have been working hard to have this provision introduced in the North for a number of years and I commend them for their efforts, this will make a real difference to many families in the most difficult of circumstances.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain that someone goes through upon losing a child and the last thing they should have to worry about is financial pressures while they are dealing with their grief. Funerals are very expensive and many families simply won’t have that kind of money available to them, this fund will ensure that no family is placed in the position of struggling to pay for their child’s funeral after becoming bereaved.
“Going forward we need to ensure that families are aware that this help and support is available to them and that the application process is as straightforward as possible so that it is easily accessible by all.”