Category Archives: News

Big Parenting Survery 2024

Parenting NI are committed to supporting parents and ensuring that their voices are heard, which is why we are launching the 2024 Big Parenting Survey, and want to reach more parents than ever before! It is arguably more important than ever to gain an insight into the realities of parenting in Northern Ireland, particularly given the current cost of living crisis, which is putting extreme pressure on parents and families.

We are asking all parents, and those in a parenting role, to take this opportunity to be part of our anonymous “Big Parenting Survey” 2024, to give them the chance to tell us about their experiences – including both the high points, and the struggles. This will help shape the work of Parenting NI, and enable Parenting NI to lobby and campaign for change for families here in Northern Ireland.

Big Parenting Survey 2024:

Mums Spring Tea

Join like minded women to network, learn, share and celebrate being a working parent!


  • Nicola McGuinness – Career and Confidence Coach talks to us about her experience coaching women to use their potential for an impactful, fulfilling and joyful career.
  • Citi Bank share their good practice for promoting a positive and parent friendly workplace.
  • Panel discussion and Q&A with local business women.
  • Afternoon Tea

Book here: 

Kindly supported by Belfast Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Michelle Kelly and sponsored by CITI.

Northern Ireland parents increasingly worried about finances as Christmas period approaches

Over the last six months, prices have risen at so quickly that families are worried about what lies ahead in the winter months.

The annual rate of inflation is sitting at 10.1% – with the price of food rising at its fastest pace in 42 years in September.

Every household is feeling the pinch, but with Christmas just around the corner financial pressures are particularly mounting for parents.

Around two-thirds of parents in Northern Ireland say money is currently one of the greatest challenges they’re facing, closely followed by mental health.

That’s according to a recent survey published by Parenting NI which also revealed that over the last six months parents have been increasingly worried about the cost of food.

Read more:

Support Line Closures

Parenting NI Support Line will be closed on the following days/Times:

  • Thursday 15th Dec from 12.30pm – 3.30pm
  • Friday 23rd Dec from 9.30am and will stay closed until 4.30pm on Tuesday 3rd Jan

We will reopen on Wednesday 4th Jan 2023 at 9.30am.

Parent Mental Health, Wellbeing and Cost of Living survey report

Read the survey report here.

‘This is the first time Parenting NI has conducted a “Parent Mental Health, Wellbeing and Cost of Living” survey. Due to the dramatic increase in the cost of living, we felt compelled to ensure that the voice of parents is considered in what can only be described as an emergency. This survey gives parents from every part of society an opportunity to tell us about their current experiences of parenting in Northern Ireland, what levels of support they have and what gaps there are and what they need to support them on their parenting journey.

We are aware that financial insecurity can have a huge effect on a parent’s mental health. Therefore, we wanted to focus in on these issues in this survey. These issues will be familiar to service providers and policy makers across all departments and organisations. Parents have expressed a level of concern that must be met with action, and this survey has further exposed the experiences of parents and families from all backgrounds.’

                                                                                               – Charlene Brooks, CEO Parenting NI

A manifesto for change 2022-2025

Parenting NI has a vision of a society a society where parenting is valued, parents’ voices are heard and where every family is given the support they need.

The Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly need to show that they support parents and the value they bring to society. It is imperative that regional support services are adequately funded to support parents, and those in a parenting role, with children from infants to teenage years. This will ensure that outcomes for families in Northern Ireland will improve and contribute to a fair and compassionate society.

Read: A manifesto for change 2022-2025


Belfast area PANTS campaign launch September 2022

NSPCC, PHA and BSHCT along with a range of multi-agency partners including Parenting NI have come together to roll out the PANTS campaign across the Belfast area to empower parents and professionals to have simple age-appropriate conversations with children aged 4-8 years old to help protect them from sexual abuse.

The campaign launch was held on Wednesday 28th September with a range of campaign partners and experts helping to set the scene for the campaign which will run for the next six months across the Belfast area.

After the launch event workshops will be held to help professionals gain confidence in using the campaign resources and messages, this will be followed by activities in the community with families and children directly, where Pantosaurus, the campaigns friendly mascot will be on tour appearing at events and visiting schools as well as other settings.

So, to explain more about the PANTS campaign messaging here is some background to the campaign. We know that we are used to talking to children about things like crossing the road safely. But what about speaking to them about messages that will help to keep them safe from sexual abuse? We understand that talking about this topic might feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. PANTS has been created specifically, with the help of parents and professionals, to make sure these conversations are as easy and appropriate as possible for children from the age of four upwards.

The PANTS tools and resources give adults simple ways to open these conversations in a clear and child-friendly way to give children confidence and knowledge. The key messages are:

P – Privates are privates.

A – Always remember your body belongs to you.

N – No means no.

T – Talk about secrets that upset you.

S – Speak up, someone can help.

Every family is different and when and where parents or carers have these conversations will depend on their child – it’s all about whatever feels natural for them. A few examples of where parents have told us it worked for them have included bath time, getting dressed, car journeys, out for a walk or swimming.  Or, start talking PANTS with the help of our friendly dinosaur mascot Pantosaurus featured throughout our website page and materials.

There is a range of other PANTS guides for parents, carers and children, including guides in a number of different languages and for people with a disability. There are also guides for foster carers, parents with a learning disability, parents of children with autism, and a film for deaf children as well as a PANTS Makaton resource. You can find these on the NSPCC website –

You can find lots of information and support about talking PANTS on the website link. Or call the NSPCC helpline at any time on 0808 800 5000 for any advice, or email  

If you would like any more information on the Belfast Area PANTS Campaign and how to get involved please contact: Margaret Gallagher, Head of Local Campaigns, NSPCC