This qualitative research study explores experiences of partners bereavedthrough cancer, who were resident in an urban area of Northern Ireland andwho had been service users of the social work services. Data were collected in2004 from 10 individuals who participated in semi-structured interviews.Emergent themes were identified using thematic content analysis and findingsanalysed under four categories: cancer journey; impact of bereavement; processof adjustment and change; and experience of support services. Opportunities tofacilitate communication were not always maximised, often resulting in poorbereavement outcomes. Although hospices undertook bereavement risk assessment,participants were unaware of its use and queried its accuracy withoutservice user involvement. The most cited informal support was family andfriends, although such help was time-limited. Service user feedback regardingsocial workers was generally positive; however, there was a lack of knowledgeabout their role in palliative care. Post-bereavement adjustment was influencedby the quality of social networks, the responsibilities of lone parenthood, andchallenges to life values and core beliefs. A framework for palliative care socialwork has been recommended based on research findings.