Family Support Services

Held hands around paper cut out of a family

What is Family Support?

Family Support is defined as ‘a style of work and a wide range of activities that strengthen positive informal social networks through community-based programmes and services’. 

Bagenalstown FRC is committed to providing a range of supports and services to families to make the day-to-day challenges of family life a little easier to manage. We recognise that parenting is the most important job that someone can undertake and that sometimes we all need a little help, support, direction or just a listening ear. 

That’s why we offer a range of parental supports free of charge – advice, information and advocacy. 

Families experiencing parental separation, depression, a death in the family, financial problems, issues with teenagers, difficulties in school, and problems around accommodation can call us for assistance. 

Sometimes a conversation and some information can help in managing a stressful situation. If we can’t help with your particular difficulty you can be assured, we will put you in touch with someone who can. 

One-to-one Parenting Supports are available continuously. Please contact our reception on 0599722028 to make an appointment or find out more information. 

(Group Parenting Programmes are available on a rolling basis. Once a minimum of 8 names for the same programme is received that programme will begin) 


Family Support: How can we help?

Family Support helps families access a broad array of supports and services. The primary focus is on early intervention aiming to promote and protect the health, well-being and rights of all children, young people and their families. We will work with your family to find each family members strengths; what is working well in your family, and what things you would like to change.

All families can benefit from support at some point in their lives.  Life events like birth, death, depression, redundancy, separation, illness, abuse or financial problems all put stress and strain on family life and relationships.  Our Family Supports workers can provide one-to-one parenting advice and support, sign-posting to specific agencies, and referral to additional supports if required.

“Family support is both a way of working and a set of activities that provides information, advice and assistance to parents and carers about bringing up their children, so that these children will reach their full potential.”
Child & Family Agency,

What is Meitheal?

Meitheal is a national practice model and is aimed at supporting children and families experiencing problems in their lives before the issues become so big they require Social Work intervention. It involves gathering all the necessary people, agencies and services around the table to ensure the child or family receives the support they require. 

This process is family-led and the family is the ultimate decision maker. Bagenalstown FRC can support you in organising a Meitheal for your child or family if you feel it is the most effective way of getting the support and services you need to assist you with your difficulties. 

Why would my family need Meitheal?
Preventing problems from arising or getting worse is better than dealing with them later. Meitheal can help stop current challenges from getting any worse for a child/young person. 

Examples of the challenges that Meitheal could help with are:
Problems at School
A child feeling down
Parents and children not getting on
Family Problems
Coping with illness or bereavement
Difficult Behaviour
Worrying a lot 

We can also support a family through the Meitheal process, acting as your Lead Practitioner.

In a Meitheal, a lead practitioner will identify a child’s and their family’s needs and strengths and then bring together a ‘team of agencies and professionals around the child’. The team will deliver support that is properly planned and is focused on the child’s developmental needs.

The child and their family are fully involved and participating in this process at all stages. Meitheal works on voluntarily participation by the family at all times.

Meitheal is an old Irish term that describes how neighbours would come together to assist in the saving of crops or other tasks. In this context Meitheal is a National Practice Model to ensure that the needs and strengths of children and their families are effectively identified and understood and responded to in a timely way so that children and families get the help and support needed to improve children’s outcomes and realise their rights.

Tusla, Child and Family Agency

Support Services

Using the COSP™ model developed by the Circle of Security originators, our trained Facilitators work with parents and caregivers to help them to:

Understand their child’s emotional world by learning to read emotional needs
Support their child’s ability to successfully manage emotions
Enhance the development of their child’s self-esteem
Honor the innate wisdom and desire for their child to be secure

• Parent is guided to read baby’s cues and adapt massage consequently
• Live demo is given by attentive certified instructors.
• Instructors touch a demo doll, not your baby to respect your special bond.
• The setting is relaxed and informal so responding to babies’ needs is fun and free of pressure.
• Small group size to get the personal attention you prefer.
• Supportive environment in which to share experiences.

Preparing for Life is a home visiting programme that supports families from pregnancy until their child begins primary school. The programme is a wonderful way to support parents in their journey through parenthood. A home visitor will meet with you monthly and discuss all things parenting.

This program gives helpful tip sheets that provide information on nutrition, toilet training, social and emotional well-being, and parental supports. Families will also receive age-appropriate developmental items such as a play mat, teething toy, hand blender and books along the way. This programme is free and available to families living in Bagenalstown and surrounding areas.

To find out more information or to sign up please contact Josie

Phone: 059 972 2023/ 083 208 8685


Parents need good social groups, and this is why Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre runs a Parent and Toddler group for parents, grandparents and carers.

The benefits of attending include building new friendships and support systems. Children develop their social skills and learn through play.

In the group, you will find:

  • Suitable tables and chairs for adults and children
  • Toys and equipment specific for various age groups
  • Nappy changing facilities
  • Craft and messy play materials
  • Tea and coffee for parents



When: Tuesdays
Time: 10:30-11:30
Cost: €2 per family
To register, please contact Reception on 059 972 2028

Parent Peer support group for parents of children with additional needs.

A parent and baby/toddler walking group for parents and caregivers wishing to make connections, gain peer support and get outdoors and active with their child. Meet outside the centre and walk into Bagenalstown, where parents and caregivers can enjoy the Barrow Way, local cafes and playgrounds. Parking, toilets and baby changing facilities are available in the centre before and after the walk. 

For information on start date contact reception on 059 972 2028 

For up-to-date information on family support services please contact reception at 059-9722028

Our FRC offers a wide range of groups and activities to suit all ages. We hold informal courses suited to those who are seeking recreational and leisure pursuits including Cookery, Horticulture, Digital photography, Beginners and Intermediate computers, and Arts n’ Crafts. (All subject to numbers and funding.)

Families can avail of our Parent & Toddler Group, Buggy Buddies, Healthy Street Programs and parenting workshops on different topics.

For older members of our community, we provide a social club with transport provided by the service. Our Nifty Fifty group engage in a variety of activities including bingo, cookery, self-care, and exercise.