Parenting NI established in 1979, as the Parents Advice Centre, provides free support for parents across Northern Ireland. Parenting NI Freephone Helpline and other regional services, initially delivered by volunteers and now by trained staff, has helped thousands of parents, grandparents and others in a parenting role for over 4 decades.
Parenting NI is committed to supporting all parents and ensuring that their voices are heard whenever decisions are made that will affect them. We will continue to or endeavour to deliver a range of high quality support and services to meet parent's needs including:
Parenting NI are proud to be part of a number of partnership projects including:
Positive Minds for Premature Parents
This is a five-year project, led by Tinylife in partnership with Aware NI and Parenting NI, supporting families to develop and strengthen their resilience and reduce isolation by connecting with their peers and wider community. The project supports parents’ perinatal mental health and wellbeing by providing access to services that parents feel meet their needs best. The project runs in the Northern and Southern Health and Social Care Trusts.
As part of Positive Minds for Premature Parents, a Parenting NI Parent Support Officer visits each support group facilitated by the project once a quarter to share details of the support that Parenting NI offers. Parents can avail of a free Support Line and other programmes that Parenting NI have available depending on the need.
The Parenting NI Support Line is available Monday - Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm on 0808 8010 722.
The Family Wellness Project is an early intervention mental health project for children aged 5 - 12 and their families. The project, led by MindWise in partnership with Action Mental Health, AWARE, Cause, Parenting NI and the Trusts’ Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), supports families in the Southern and Western Health and Social Care Trust areas.
The project aims to enhance the emotional health and wellbeing of children aged 5 - 12 who are at risk of developing significant mental health difficulties if early intervention measures are not identified and addressed, with a view to reducing their need for more intensive or long term support from statutory/other services.
The project will adopt a holistic person and family centred approach which will help families to better support their children, understand and cope with their circumstances, to be part of the community they live in and to experience less stigma and discrimination.
Most families face challenges at some stage or another. Some challenges can be short term while others can be ongoing and mean that parents needs to develop other parenting techniques. Family support offers an intervention support that will work with the parent to address issues and enable them to work towards a calmer home with more effective parenting.
Asking for help is a strength and often stops problems escalating and getting out of control.
Not all parents feel confident enough to go along to groups or meet with strangers to discuss their family circumstances. Home based family support provides the family with the opportunity to build a confidential and trusting relationship with the family worker where parents can be honest, identify changes they would like to see in their family, and support to implement strategies to improve family functioning.
What is home based family support?
Home based family support aims to support families who are experiencing life challenges which impact on their family unit and can make it difficult to provide effective parenting and functioning as a family.
A family support worker can visit the parent in the family home at a time which is convenient for the parent. The worker will listen to the parent’s concerns and work alongside the parent in establishing routines, communication, behaviour management techniques and support with overall emotional well-being.
How can family support help?
• By listening
• Offering a non-judgemental perspective on family issues
• By providing tools and tips to manage challenging behaviour
• Empowering parents to make the best choices for their family
• Working with the family to implement workable solutions
• Supporting the parent to change patterns of parenting so they can parent more effectively
• Signposting to relevant services who can help the parent with practical help or financial support
How can I access Family Support?
You can self-refer through contacting the local Family Support Hub in your area.
Ask G.P, Health Visitor or school to make a referral to your family support hub coordinator.
Where is Family Support available?
Family Support - Home Visiting is available in the Belfast and Southern Trusts (Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown).