Tag Archives: Dad’s Project

Photo Exhibition Focuses on Fathers at Stormont


The Parenting NI Dads Project has an exhibition of photographs, ‘Men as Dads’ on display in The Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings. (Back left to right – Derek Doherty, Cahir Murray (Dads Project Coordinator), Kenneth Dunlop, Catherine Kelly MLA, Chris Eisenstadt (Parenting NI Policy and Research Officer). Front left to right – Mura McKinney (Men as Dads Photographer) and Paul McCorry. 

The ‘Men as Dads’ Exhibition is a collection of images which portrays positive images of fathers. Local charity Parenting NI and their Dads Project worked on the project with local photographer, Mura McKinney, to help celebrate dads as positive role models and the unique contribution they make to their children’s lives.

Photographer Mura McKinney who offered her skills and time to Parenting NI and the Dads Project to take on the ‘Men as Dads’ project.

The Parenting NI Dads Project is a National Lottery Community Fund NI funded initiative which supports dads in Northern Ireland, in particular dads who are separating or separated. The Dads Project promotes dads being engaged and involved in their children’s lives, helping dad’s to develop more confidence in their parenting ability and to build positive connections with other dads in a similar position within their community.  

Cahir Murray, the Dads Project Coordinator, said,
“This has been a fantastic way for us to creatively explore the positives of being a dad in Northern Ireland’s society. We wanted to help dads build up their understanding of their value and the important role they have as fathers.

It was great to have some of the dads who have been involved with the project in the pictures and giving them the opportunity to confidently highlight what they love about fatherhood.”

Dads Project Coordinator, Cahir Murray, looking at one of the images in the exhibition with dads Kenneth Dunlop and Paul McCorry

Catherine Kelly MLA launched the exhibition at Stormont this week and said,
“I’m delighted to be able to help launch ‘Men as Dads’ Exhibition here in the Long Gallery.  The photos of the dads and their children depict the special bond of a father and his child.  

I believe it important to support this project and commend Parenting NI on their work with the Dad’s Project and I encourage everyone to visit the Exhibition as it travels across the North this year.”

The exhibition will be on display in The Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings until 10th February 2020. Following its launch in the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry late last year, the exhibition will be touring around Northern Ireland throughout 2020.  

Dads Project Parenting Apart Derry/Londonderry

This programme is being delivered as part of the Dads Project and therefore is open to men only. Thanks to funding from Big Lottery Fund NI this is free for dads to attend.

Duration: Every Wednesday for 6 weeks

The Parenting Apart programme is aimed at parents who have separated, are separating, divorced or thinking of divorce.

The programme will provide practical advice and guidance about what children need to know, and what parents can do to meet their children’s need. Although parents are immersed in their own difficulties, this programme can help parents focus on the child’s needs with the aim of minimising the impact of the separation.

The programme explores:

  • Emotional impact
  • Parenting roles
  • Changes in relationships
  • Legalities
  • Financial impact
  • Moving on

To register call us on freephone 0808 8010 722. Alternatively you can complete an expression of interest below.

Long-Term High Conflict Separations Harming Parents and Children

Parenting NI has found that more than 80% of parents dealing with long-running, high-conflict separations describe themselves as worried, stressed and anxious. Similarly negative impacts have been found with children, including behavioural and physical issues.

Charlene Brooks, CEO of Parenting NI said:
“It is increasingly common for parents to call our helpline in a situation where they are still in conflict with their ex-partner a year after separation.

“The damage that parental conflict on this scale has on children can be significant and can have serious negative implications. Parenting NI realises and understands that every family is different, and that most parents do not allow conflict to linger in this way.

“However, around 10-12% of parents unfortunately get stuck in intractable conflicts. There are lots of reasons why parents might fall into this situation and they may not realise how much of an impact the arguments have on their children.

“Research shows that the stress that is associated with parental conflict has a more harmful impact on children than the separation itself. Children whose parents remain in unresolved conflict are less likely to do well at school, have poorer interpersonal skills, lower overall wellbeing and less positive relationships with their parents.

“As difficult as it may be, we would encourage parents to think about how they manage conflict. Try not to criticize your ex-partner in front of your children and reassure them that the separation is not their fault. It is also important to remember that in most cases, it is in the best interest of the child to have a close, stable and ongoing relationship with both parents wherever possible.

“We are contacted daily by parents on both sides of the conflict, worried about not only the impact on their children but on their own mental health and wellbeing. Parenting NI is hoping to highlight the need to support parents to effectively manage separation in order to reduce the impact of lingering, high-conflict separations on children.”

Parenting NI has released a report, based on case studies and academic research outlining what dangers come from long term, active parental conflict.

Separation is the single most common cause for calls to the Parenting Regional Helpline. 35% of dads contacting the helpline contact us about separation. As a result of the amount of men contacting Parenting NI about separation the organisation recognised the need for specific support for separated dads. In the week of Men’s Health Week and Father’s Day (11th – 17th June), Parenting NI will launch the new Dads Project funded by Big Lottery Fund NI.

The Dads Project will promote dads being engaged and involved in their children's lives. The project will help dads to develop more confidence in their parenting ability and to build positive connections with other dads in a similar position in their community.

Contact Parenting NI

Give us a call on 0808 8010 722

Download the Full Report

Read more information here