Update from Parenting NI
We are living in unprecedented times and it is important that we all look after ourselves and each other in these challenging circumstances.
Parenting NI provides support to parents and families throughout Northern Ireland, and the health and well-being of our staff as well as those in the communities which we offer services is of the utmost importance. Therefore we have made the decision to temporarily suspend direct services, effective as of Friday 20th March. These services will include programmes, Families Together services such as walking groups and parenting cafes, focus groups, home visiting and the Dads Project services such as Dads Talk and programmes.
We will continue to provide support via our Support Line which can be contacted on freephone 0808 8010 722 during the usual opening times of 9:30am – 3:30pm Monday – Thursday and 9:30am – 12:30pm Friday. Our website which has a wide range of tips and guidance will be updated regularly and our Parent Support App will also still all be available.
At this stage, direct services (such as programmes) due to start week commencing 20th April will proceed as planned. However, as the situation continues to change quickly, we will continue to follow the guidance and advice of the Public Health Agency. I would encourage parents to keep an eye on our website for the latest on Parenting NI services in the coming weeks and also follow our social media channels which will continue to share information and support for parents.
Rest assured that Parenting NI will continue to explore new ways that parents can access support during this period. At the moment our priority is to safeguard parents, families and staff. We appreciate your understanding as we take precautions in part of the wider public effort to reduce the impact of the virus.
In line with government guidelines, and to protect the wellbeing of families and our staff, Parenting NI Head Office will close from 5pm on Monday 23rd March until further notice. Parents and families will continue to be supported by telephone/web chat and email. With the closure of schools and children being at home, where needed, staff flexibility will allow the needs of those parents who may wish this support to be outside our normal hours of working. This will be agreed between the staff member and the parent.
The teams will also provide families with resources on family activities, Top Tips, practical support and tips on emotional wellbeing as well as ongoing weekly support either via calls or email.
Feedback from parents on this provision has been hugely positive as the team continue to provide this valuable service.
All parents have been informed of the postponement of programmes and workshops and will be made aware of new dates of commencement when the time is right.
We are still available to take referrals based on this temporary means of providing support from all professionals across Northern Ireland. We would ask that all referrals are made via email to our firstname.lastname@example.org address. Referral forms are available to download and further guidance offered here.
Parenting NI CEO