Parent Support Group
From our work with families and the local community, we became aware that many parents and careers are facing major challenges trying to access support for both their children with disabilities/additional needs, and also for themselves.
So last September we set up a Parent Support Group, for parents/carers of children with a disability or additional needs. The group meets twice a month, with one morning session and one evening session. The group is led by our Community Development worker, Caroline Morris and our Family Support worker, Maryrose Williams. It’s an informal, welcoming space where parents can share information and resources that they have found helpful and discuss any concerns they have. We were delighted to host a very informative webinar in November entitled ‘Talking to your child about Autism’ with Autism Educator, Amanda McGuinness and it is hoped to run more information sessions/workshops this year.
Meitheal is a voluntary process for families who might benefit from additional supports around meeting the needs of their child/ children. 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 gathering of family and professionals where the needs and strengths of children and
their families are named and understood by everyone involved. This helps families to name what actions are needed to meet the needs of their child/ children and it also helps professionals to seek suitable supports that might be different for each family.
Many families have benefited from this process. All aspects – from the decision that you want to enter this process, to the nature of information to be shared, outcomes you hope for, support you need, agencies you want to be involved to the end point of the process – are led by you and your family. The Meitheal might help to avoid duplication and the need for your family to repeatedly retell your story to various agencies. A Meitheal meeting cannot take place without the involvement of at least one parent. To find out more, see the information leaflets for parents here, and for children here
It all started with Community Mothers who were volunteers using their experience as mothers and their local knowledge to support parents with children under 2 years of age. The Community Mothers Programme is now being reviewed nationally and we are planning to carry out a research on the needs of expectant and new parents in Trim and South Meath area. This will help us to secure funding towards employing part time home visitors in the future. The focus of home visits is to build
parental confidence and support positive mental health. If you are expecting a child or you are in need of supporting you as a new parent, please contact us to find out about group work we are planning to start once restrictions ease off.