Earlier in the year, Parenting NI was extremely saddened to learn that we would lose the funding for the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) Regional Parenting Helpline contract (which includes Face to Face Support). Parenting NI identified the need for a parents helpline in 1979 and have been providing the service ever since. Now in our 40th year of delivering the service this news was devastating.
The good news for parents is however that the service is being continued. Children in Northern Ireland, the regional umbrella organisation for the children’s sector will be delivering the Regional Parenting Support Helpline from 1st April onwards.
Whilst the loss of funding to provide this service is extremely disappointing, it is by no means the end for Parenting NI. We are passionate about supporting parents and will continue on our mission to provide a range of accessible services and support to meet the needs of those in a parenting role across Northern Ireland.
We are pleased to confirm that from 1st April we will continue to provide a freephone support service for parents (on the same number 0808 8010 722) as an access point to our range of services. We will also continue to deliver our range of parenting programmes, family support services and regional projects including the Dads Project and Families Together. Parenting NI also continues to lead the way in consulting with parents to ensure their parents’ voices are heard at every level in order to influence policy, planning and service delivery. We are also very excited about expanding our range of resources for parents, particularly in terms of online and digital platforms as we continue to develop of Parenting Support App.
Parenting NI will continue to work with partners in order to deliver real diversity and choice for parents when it comes to what support they need. We will also continue to work in partnership with statutory and other sectors to promote engagement with parents and build on our range of accredited and non-accredited training and workshops for professionals working with parents.
We hope to make this transition as smooth as possible for service users. From the 1st April freephone support will be available on 0808 8010 722 Monday to Thursday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and Friday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.
We would like to thank you all for your continued support of the work of Parenting NI. We look forward to continuing to support parents and making our vision of a future where parenting is highly valued a reality in Northern Ireland.