The Parenting NI Support Line has a free helpline (0808 8010 722) and web chat (Both open Mon – Thurs: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, Fri: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm) for any concerns or reassurances about parenting or family life.
Family Support NI offers information on family support and childcare services in Northern Ireland (familysupportni.org.uk)
Home-Start helps families through sending trained volunteers to visit and offer compassionate support to parents. Find your local Home-Start here www.home-start.org.uk/find-your-nearest-home-start.
National Childbirth Trust at www.nct.org.uk offers a range of online resources about children’s development and health, and life as a parent.
If you have any concerns about your or your child’s health and wellbeing, we also recommend that you talk to your health visitor or GP.
Your child’s wellbeing and development
For advice on how to develop your child’s speech, reading and communication skills, please visit:
- I CAN at www.icancharity.org.uk, or telephone 020 7843 2544 to reach the free, confidential call-back or email firstname.lastname@example.org for service from an I CAN speech and language therapist.
- Words for Life at www.wordsforlife.org.uk (online service only).
- NHS Choices (online service only) has advice on how to help your child’s speech at www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/babys-development/play-and-learning/help-your-baby-learn-to-talk
You can find information about healthy eating and nutrition for your child at First Steps Nutrition Trust, www.firststepsnutrition.org (online service only).
For advice about how to encourage your child to sleep better, please see the tips on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/health/sleep-problems-in-young-children.
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can offer independent advice on a range of issues including housing, debt and consumer issues. You can find out more, including where your nearest CAB is, at www.citizensadvice.org.uk. To speak to someone directly, please visit the website at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/northern-ireland/
The Trussel Trust offers guidance for those in a financial crisis. To find your local foodbank, visit www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank.
Childcare Choices is a government scheme offering parents help with childcare costs. Visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to find out what help you may be eligible for.
Smoking, alcohol and drug abuse
For help quitting smoking, the NHS provides guidance on its website www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking, where you can also identify your local Stop Smoking Service. You can call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044 to speak to a trained advisor (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm).
Drinkaware at www.drinkaware.co.uk offers help to anyone worried about their own or someone else’s drinking. Call the free alcohol helpline, Drinkline, on 0300 123 1110 (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm), or use the online chat service, Drinkchat, on the website (Mon-Fri 9am-2pm).
We Are With You (formerly Addaction) at www.wearewithyou.org.uk is a UK-wide treatment agency, helping individuals, families and communities to manage the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. Use the online chat service, available on their website, to speak to a trained advisor (Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm).
For support from drug services in Northern Ireland, you can use the Northern Ireland Drugs & Alcohol Services Directory to find services near you: services.drugsandalcoholni.info
Talk to FRANK offers free confidential advice on drugs and alcohol. You can email, text (on 82111), phone on 0300 123 6600 (24-hour helpline), or get advice via webchat at www.talktofrank.com/livechat
Safety and mental health
If you are concerned about domestic violence, please contact Refuge at refuge.org.uk on the free 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247.
Mind provides advice on a range of mental health problems, including the types of mental health problem; where to get help; medication and alternative treatments; and advocacy. Visit www.mind.org.uk or phone 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm, Mon–Fri).
For advice on children and young people’s mental health, please visit Young Minds at youngminds.org.uk, or call their Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544 (9.30am-4pm, Mon-Fri).
The Samaritans provide confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Freephone: 116 123 (24-hour helpline).
If you are suffering from postnatal illness, the Association for Post Natal Illness offers advice and support. Visit their website www.apni.org or call 020 7386 0868 (10am-2pm, Mon-Fri).