History
ParentStop was set up in 2005 by the then NWHB under Health Promotion – this was in response to feedback from parents attending Fas Le Cheile Parenting Courses across Co Donegal – we need a listening service specifically for parents. In response to this need ParentStop was founded by Janet Gaynor and Sr Helen Kelly

  • Offering a support service in Letterkenny since 2005

Established as a charity and company limited by guarantee in September 2007

  • Offering outreach to Inishowen area in 2008 – hosted through IFAN
  • Offering outreach to South Donegal in 2010 – hosted by Donegal FRC
  • Offering outreach to North West Donegal in 2015 – hosted by partners such as Mevagh FRC and Pobal Le Cheile;

Registered with Charity Regulator in 2015
Changed name to ParentStop CLG in 2016

What we do
Offering one to one and group parenting supports session to those in parenting roles.
In 2006 ParentStop supported 50 families – this figure has been growing steadily since then reaching 621 families in 2017. Parents come today because parenting is more challenges due to:

  • Divorce/separation – co-parenting conflict
  • Addictions – gambling; pornography; alcohol; drugs;
  • Financial worries – and housing
  • Social media – child and parents
  • Obesity – nutrition and lifestyle choices
  • Mental Health concerns – for the child and parents
  • Bullying – 24/7 online and in person
  • Stress and peer pressure – making risky choices
Parents come from...
  • Their family or friends have advised them to come
  • Their GP; PHN; or other Primary Care Clinics
  • The Family Court – or their solicitor
  • Their Social Worker – or TUSLA staff
  • The local Garda Station – or juvenile liaison officer/diversion projects
  • The Hospital – paediatrics; maternity; ED; outpatients
  • Their CAMHS consultant or other team members
  • Their child’s school – or HSCL; SCP; etb/Youthreach;
  • Their child’s psychologist – or EIT or other team members
  • Their library or other public service information
  • Their Meitheal or a wide range of other family support services

What parents can expect

  • A free and confidential support service
  • A service that is timely and relevant
  • One-to-one appointments with a ParentStop support team member
  • Information that is accurate on all things parenting
  • Group sessions on common purpose parenting topics
  • Parents Plus Parenting When Separated programme
  • A support system that is linked into other parent and family supports
  • An advocate for the voice of parents

Parents' Testimonials
We have sought feedback from over 400 parents who have used our service over the past three years and they tell us:- 97.5% found the service met their needs in a positive way. Some of their comments: –

  • ParentStop worked for me during a really bad time for my family – I still come in now and again – just to get a top-up
  • I told my story once and we worked through how to deal with it step by step – it was slow and she was so patient
  • I felt listened to and heard – it was a safe place to talk it over
  • I never thought we would ever agree a co-parenting weekly plan that would work. Our children really do come first.
  • She was there for me when I needed support most

Some of our successes

  • Good people and strong relationships – committed and dedicated volunteer and staff team and a wide range of partners who host and support our service
  • Provider of a safe space for parents to be heard and supported
  • Accurate and appropriate information provided and also developed
  • Positive feedback from clients
  • Positive comments and opinions of peers across child, parent and family support and health services
  • Offering a voice for parents
  • Adaptive organisation – changing and adjusting as needs change
  • Started off in Letterkenny and now offering an outreach service across 8 different sites across Co Donegal
  • Since 2014 we have taken the lead across Co Donegal on offering the Parents Plus Parenting When Separated programme.
  • This was supported by philanthropic funding through IPB.
  • Since then the court system, family court judges, the solicitors across Co Donegal, GPs, health providers, mediation service providers, family support services and TUSLA are now advising increasing numbers of separated, divorced or couples living apart to come to ParentStop.
  • We work on co-parenting plans and agreements, keeping the children at the centre and support parents through the Parenting When Separated programme.

It is all about...

  • Supporting families by buffering parents
  • Ensuring they receive safe and secure support
  • Having appropriate safeguards in place
  • Protecting their information and data
  • Supporting them to parent their child
  • Reaching out to parents and connecting them in
  • Offering a place where parents are listened to and get advice and help in facing that parenting challenge
  • Making sure there is ‘No Wrong Door’ to support and helping them access other more appropriate services
  • Reminding parents that they may no longer be partners but will always be parents

Future plans...

  • To continue to offer a free and confidential parent support service in Co Donegal and to collaborate in the care and support pathways under development for ALL families;
  • To offer a first point of support for parents facing parenting challenges with an early intervention approach;
  • To develop targeted information for parents and families as needed;
  • To take a preventive approach in the promotion of health and wellbeing in families;
  • To consult with parents on support needs and challenges faced;
  • To advocate for parent support needs at local and regional levels;
  • To collaborate on and be involved in local developments in the areas of care and support pathways for parents and families.

It is recognised that universal supports for all parents, along with tailored supports and specialist services to support parents in different contexts and parents in different parenting relationships, are effective in increasing parental capacity and connecting in and engaging parents.

The core of our work is about offering a parenting support service to families in Co Donegal and that ranges from the provision of information, advice, support and referrals to delivering parenting programmes.