Category Archives: News

Parenting NI Now Offering Support for Young People


Parenting NI is delighted to announce that it is now offering a new service which supports young people as well as their parents and carers with any family difficulties they may be experiencing.

Last year Parenting NI asked young people to complete a survey about improving relationships with their parents/carers. Of those young people who responded, 80% told the organisation that they would be interested in a service which would allow them to discuss any problems or issues they were experiencing with their parent/carer.

With thanks to funding from Children in Need, Parenting NI have been able to make this a service available to young people. The Face2Face service will focus on the exploration of issues as well as the introduction of practical strategies which can help engage, encourage and motivate change for children/young people and their families. It is the young persons choice how involved they would like their parent or carer to be in sessions.

The benefits and use of creative techniques and activities can be explored and used with agreement from both the child/young person and parent/carer. Activities can be used to address issues ranging from anger management, social skills, stress reduction, to self-esteem.

All families are unique and have different problems and concerns. Parenting NI counsellors are experienced and trained to work with families, children and young people to help resolve problems or improve their situation.

Watch our video to find out more about this service and call us on 0808 8010 722 for more information.

Chat to Us Online

Web Support (1)


We are really excited to announce that from Monday 29th February we will be launching our online live chat service. Live Chat will be available Monday to Friday between the hours of 1 pm and 3 pm.

We are delighted to be able to introduce this free, online service to enable parents and carers to chat instantly to Parenting NI experienced support workers regarding any parenting or family issues. All chats are kept confidential (within the limits of our code of confidentiality) between the parents/carers and the Parenting NI support staff.

Parents requiring support outside of the hours that Live Chat will be available should call the freephone helpline number on 0808 8010 722, which is available Monday – Thursday 9 am to 8 pm and Friday 9 am to 5 pm. Any parents needing support outside of any of these hours can email and will be contacted as soon as possible.

Play Your Part, Share A Heart

Today is Safer Internet Day which sees thousands of organisations and people across the UK get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

This years theme is “Play Your Part for a Better Internet”. The UK Safer Internet Centre are encouraging everyone to play their part by sharing a heart today. Using the heart, a universal sign for love, to promote respect and kindness online this Safer Internet Day.

We’ve used #ShareAHeart to write some positive messages for parents. Take a look at the gallery below.

If you would like support around internet safety and your child’s internet use please get in touch and call us on 0808 8010 722.

Information for Parents and Carers

Benefits and Tax Credit Impact on Families Study

We have been contacted by Rosanna a student at Queen’s University who is looking for parents to volunteer to become research participants.

If you are currently living with your partner and receive one or more of the following:

  • Child Tax Credits / Working Tax Credits
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseekers Allowance

You may be eligible to take part in this important project.

The purpose of this research is to understand how cuts and freezes to benefits and tax credits impact on the budgeting and work decision-making of couple families in Northern Ireland who have claimed income and employment related benefits within the past eighteen months.

If you choose to become a participant, Rosanna will contact you by telephone to arrange an interview for a time that suits you. The interview will last approximately 1 hour. It will begin with a brief questionnaire, followed by an informal conversation.

asda As a thank you for taking part you will receive a £10 Asda voucher per couple.

If you could spare an hour to have an informal chat with Rosanna you can call her on 07732515543 or email 

“Make it Normal” to Attend Parenting Programmes

David Cameron announced yesterday that he would like parenting programmes to be available for all families. The governments new “Life Chances Strategy” outlines the plans that would hope to “make it normal – even aspirational to attend parenting classes.”

Parenting NI has been offering and delivering parenting programmes since 1998 and during that time many parents have told us of how beneficial these programmes have been in helping them to be more effective parents. In those 17 years we have seen an increase in the number of parents who want to get involved and attend parenting programmes. We listen to the needs of parents and design the programmes to reflect the wide range of issues that parents ask us to support them with.

The approach to parenting programmes should be respect the parents as knowing their child better than anyone else and building on their skills to increase their knowledge of parenting and make parents feel more confident.

Evidence shows that children who know rules and boundaries and have their emotional needs met are more content, happier children who achieve better in life. However, we must acknowledge that this is not an easy task and support for parents should be made readily available to ensure children have the best start possible.

The saying is true, “children don’t come with a manual” and all parents need support at some time with how to manage the many and various issues, such as challenging behaviour, the effect of separation and mental health. Parenting is a complex task and at Parenting NI we know parents want to be the best parents they can be and really value support.


Our Chief Executive was interviewed about this subject yesterday. You can listen back online by clicking the button below.

Listen to the interview

FREE Wellbeing Programmes

At the start of a new year we often make resolutions, promising to do something that will make this year that will improve on the previous year.

This January why not attend one of the Family Wellness Project FREE Wellbeing Programmes and set yourself up for a happy, healthy 2016. If you live in the Western or the Southern Trust areas you could benefit from attending any of the programmes on offer.

Aware NI, a Family Wellness Project partner, well being delivering a number of programmes this month. The programmes include Mood Matters and Living Life to the Full. These programmes will help you to manage your feelings, maintain and regain good mental health, and build resilience to deal with life’s challenges.

Mindfulness has proven to be a popular programme and will also be running in January. Research has shown that Mindfulness has significant benefits for health and well-being. Clinical evidence also says that Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety for those with the illness of depression. It enables people to learn the skills that prevent the recurrence of depression.

If you are interested in getting involved and taking part in any of the programmes contact Rachel Cashel on 07773221967 or email

Find a Programme  Learn More

Christmas Opening Hours

Merry Christmas from Parenting NI

Our head office will close for Christmas break at 4:30pm on Tuesday 22nd December. The Helpline will be available for support at set times across the break and is closed, as normal, on Saturdays and Sundays. The Parents Helpline Christmas Opening Hours are as follows:

Christmas Opening Hours 2015


All of us here at Parenting NI would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your continued support this year. We’re also looking forward to the new year which will see us start an exciting new project, so keep your eyes peeled for more information in January. We’ll see you in 2016! Hope Santa is good to you all 🙂

Parents Counselling Omagh

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From Wednesday 6th January 2016 we will begin seeing parents for counselling in Last Sure Start in Omagh. Our last appointments with parents at the current venue at Victim Support in Omagh will take place this Wednesday 16th December.

Sometimes when you are struggling with an issue that’s happening in your family it can help to chat openly with someone outside of family and friends. By having a chat with a counsellor your feelings will be acknowledged and can help you begin to feel more confident. Counsellors do not judge or take sides, they will help you explore your feelings and discuss options for coping. Counselling provides you with a private and confidential place to discuss any parenting difficulties you may be experiencing.

We have a number of venues for counselling throughout Northern Ireland, you can find out more about counselling and where it is available here. If you would like to make an appointment get in touch with us on 0808 8010 722.

Web Chat Supporting Parents Coming Soon!

Web Support


We are delighted that we will now be able to offer support to parents online via our Live Chat feature on the website. This is a positive development for both the organisation and parents so we are really looking forward to getting this service up and running.

Throughout the week beginning the 14th of December, we will be trialing web chat on the website. It will be available Monday – Friday from 11am – 12pm and 3pm – 4pm. Availability of the service will then be reviewed in the new year.

Just click on the Live Chat link available on the right hand side of this page, the website homepage, the Helpline page and the Get In Touch page, you can then have a chat with us about any family difficulty you are experiencing for free, confidential support.




Parents & Teachers E-Safety Advisory Group


The safety of children and young people when using the internet and electronic technology (e-safety) is a major concern for parents, guardians, carers, practitioners and broader society.  The Northern Ireland Executive recognises the concern and has funded the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland to develop an E-safety Strategy for Northern Ireland and an accompanying Action Plan which will endeavour to enable the safe use of digital and internet technology by children and young people in Northern Ireland.

ncbThe National Children’s Bureau (NCB) are leading on this project and are currently contacting a range of schools in Northern Ireland to support them in carrying out this project.

They are looking for Parents and Teachers to join an advisory group to:

  •  Support the development of this project by providing advice on key aspects of project design and delivery.
  • Meet 3 times over the course of the project (the work is to be completed by February 2017.)

Travel costs to and from meeting; Food and refreshments; and £20 gift voucher for each participant will be offered.

To express your interest in joining this group please contact Gill Hassard, NCB Senior Participation Officer: or Tel: 02890 875006 by Wednesday 16th December.

 The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 13th January 2016, 6.30-8pm at Belfast Central Mission, 5 Glengall St, Belfast, County Antrim BT12 5AD.

Terms of reference for the group, subsequent meeting dates and venues to be agreed by group members at the first meeting.