In this section, you’ll find information on national supports you might like to access.
We will do our best to keep the information about the different organisations featured up to date and relevant for posting on this website, but if you notice that some of this information is now out of date, do let us know. You can do so by contacting your local Children’s Disability Network Team (CDNT) here.
This organisation offers help and support for individuals and families affected by 22q11.2 deletion/DiGeorge Syndrome/VCFS.
ADHD Ireland provides up-to-date information, resources and networking opportunities to individuals with ADHD, parents of children with ADHD and the professionals who serve them. They provide a phone and email helpline. They also run an ADHD School Friendly Programme for teachers and schools. You can see a list of their events here, which also includes details of their online parent support group.
As I Am
As I Am runs a programme of support and information for parents of recently diagnosed children, as well as a support programme for teenagers with autism both in person and online. As I Am also offers training and conferences on autism.
Aspire is a national organisation which supports and assists both the autistic individual and their support network. They also advocate on behalf of autistic people and provide them with the tools to advocate for themselves.
They manage a Residential Service, where they assist individuals in gaining independent living skills. They operate a Social Enterprise, called Aspire Productions. This is a media production company that provides paid employment, opportunities, support, training and engagement for adults with ASD / AD. They also run a number of social meet up groups and support programmes for both adults and youths.
They provide training and support to schools, colleges, workplaces and community services, as well as easy read guides and information to assist the autistic person and their family.
Aware is a national organisation providing free support, education and information services to people impacted by anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and related mood conditions. They have an Information and Resources Section. They offer several ways to support people which you can view here. Its Support Line is a free service available to anyone seeking support and information about anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder – for themselves or a loved one. The service is available 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm (Freephone: 1800 80 48 48). It is for people over 18 years old. They also have a Support Email service. It is available to anyone (aged 18+) seeking support, resources and information about their own mood, the mood of a friend or family member, or who experiences depression or bipolar disorder. It is an encrypted email service to ensure the privacy and anonymity of our users. Aware also runs Support and Self Care Groups in-person, by phone and by zoom.
Barnardos provide practical and professional supports for children, young people and families. Barnardos deliver services and support in a variety of way. They work with children from 0-18 years (individually, in group work and through their early years service and early intervention programme). They also work with families through their family support service, their Partnership with Parents programme, which supports parents to build their parenting skills, and have a resources section for Parents which includes free e-books for downloading. They also run Parent and Toddler Groups - you can contact your local Barnardos service for more information.
Belong To is the national LGBTQ+ youth organisation. It shares details of LGBTQ+ youth groups around the country. It also works with Pieta to provide a free crisis counselling service for LGBTQ+ young people who are based in Ireland (between the ages of 14-23 years). There are two ways to access this service with Pieta: call 085 856 9312 (9am to 5pm, Mon-Fri) or email firstname.lastname@example.org and a therapist will be in touch about an appointment. You can read further details here on the counselling available through Pieta. BeLongTo also offers a dedicated drug and alcohol service for LGBTQ+ youth. The service is free cost, confidential and non-judgemental. You can access that Drug and Alcohol support service here. See here for all the ways to contact BelongTo.
Bodywhys provides services for adults and young people with eating disorders, and their families. Services include email and helpline support, online chat support groups, including the Youth Connect group for 13-18 years olds, virtual video support groups and family programmes. They have a Resources Section for schools and parents. You'll also find details of their upcoming events.
BUMBLEance is the official Children’s National Ambulance Service of Ireland. They provide safe and comfortable transportation for Ireland’s youngest patients as they travel between their homes and hospitals, hospices, treatment centres, and respite centres nationwide.
Child Vision is the National Education Centre for Blind Children. Their National Network Service hosts events annually for families and professionals, both on-campus and across the country, sharing information, support and advice for those supporting children with a visual impairment in their local communities. Each year they host over 50 events including regular informative parent sessions on accessing and understanding your entitlements, professional and peer training events and family fun camps and weekends.
Childline is a part of ISPCC. It is a 24/7 support line all children and young people in Ireland up to and including the age of 18. The service is there to for children and young people to talk about anything that might be on their mind. You can contact Childline for free by calling 1800 66 66 66. You can also use their Live Chat button on the website. Childline also has an Info and Advice section on its website, covering topics such as: 'How I feel', 'Friends', 'Home & Families', 'Sexuality & Relationships' and 'Bullying & Abuse'.
Chime is the national charity for deafness and hearing loss. It offers family support services, as well as running parent and toddler group events for the 0-5 years age bracket. The groups provide a comfortable space for peer support and shared experiences. From time to time, they also have guest speakers to chat about a range of interesting topics, relevant to your child’s development. You register your interest in attending one of these events through your local Chime office.
This site provides comprehensive information on rights and entitlements. The website covers a broad range of subjects: social welfare, employment rights, buying a home, moving abroad, education and much more. See their Checklist for Carers pages as well as their Checklist for people with disabilities and long-term illness
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI)
CF Ireland (CFI) is a voluntary organisation. It provides advice, information and advocacy services for family, as well exercise, transplant and fertility grants. It shares regular information updates on new treatments and developments in Cystic Fibrosis, through its website and quarterly newsletter ‘Spectrum’. See its information for new parents in the Resources section of the website, as well as its Benefits and State Supports page and its Grants and Support services page.
Daughters of Charity Child and Family Service
The Daughters of Charity Child and Family Service (DoCCFS) is a not for profit public service organisation. They provide a range of therapeutic supportive services to children and families based in the greater Dublin region. The aim of their Family Centre Service is to provide free of charge flexible service to families to include individual sessions, parenting, family and group work, home visits, outreach and a drop-in facility. See here to read more on the full list of services provided and how to make a referral. The full list of their locations can be found here.
Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA)
DESSA is a charity whose remit includes the delivery of direct training, advocacy and information support services to individuals and families with lived experience of disability and to organisations supporting them. DESSA runs the Empowering Parents Programme for the parents of disabled children and young people. It aims to support parents to acquire the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate on behalf of their children, in particular in relation to accessing education and health services supports.
Down Syndrome Ireland
Down Syndrome Ireland provides support and services to people with Down Syndrome and their families though a national office and 25 branches nationwide. They offer ‘all-through-life’ supports to people with Down Syndrome with specialists in the areas of health, speech and language, early development, education and adult education and independence that enhance the lives of thousands of children and adults with Down Syndrome across the country. You will find the details of Down Syndrome Ireland’s 25 branches and their supports here
They offer a range of services to support people with epilepsy and their families. They have Community Resource Officers that offer a nationwide service co-ordinated through their regional offices and head office in Dublin. They provide support and information for people with epilepsy, their families and their carers. You'll find the details for the Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare Community Resource Officers here. As part of their work, the Community Resource Officers raise awareness of epilepsy through their information events. You'll find the full list of events organised by Epilepsy Ireland here.
Exchange House Ireland National Traveller Mental Health Service
This is a multi-disciplinary frontline service offering Education and Training Services, Children and Young People Services, Family Support and Crisis Intervention Services, Addiction Services and the National Traveller Mental Health Service. Their Family Support Service includes: Social Work; Crisis Intervention; One to One Counselling; Advocacy & Facilitation of Access to Other Services Nationally; the Parent Plus Programme; and Housing & Accommodation Advice and Support. Exchange House Ireland is also the main provider of Youth Services to the Traveller Community in the Greater Dublin Area. You can read more about its Youth Services here.
Family Carers Ireland
Family Carers Ireland is a national charity supporting the 500,000+ family carers across the country who care for loved ones such as children or adults with additional needs, physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, those with palliative care needs or those living with chronic illnesses, mental health challenges or addiction. You will find the full list of supports offered by Family Carers Ireland here. They also run events around the country and you can see that full list of events here. These are a mix of in-person and online events. Here also are the contact details for their Support Offices around the country.
Family Resource Centre
The Family Resource Centre (FRC) programme is Ireland’s largest National Family and Community-based support programme. There are 121 Family Resource Centres across Ireland. Find your local centre and the supports it offers here. Supports can vary from childcare to advocacy to parenting programmes and counselling to advocacy and supporting the development of new local community groups.
Grow Mental Health is a charity providing free, community-based peer support groups for anyone who is a experiencing a mental health issue. You can learn more about their service and support groups through their FAQs section. See their Events section for information on upcoming talks and courses.
Heart Children offers practical help and support for all individuals and families affected by congenital heart disease. Services include setting up local groups, financial assistance, publications, and special events for children.
iCAN Irish Children’s Arthritis Network
iCAN is a volunteer charity providing support and information and advocating for best care for those affected by Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). iCAN offers help through its online support network, family days out and information days. See here for the contact details of iCAN's local family representatives. iCAN has prepared this Children's Book on Juvenile Arthritis. See also its page on its support network for teenagers.
Inclusion Ireland is the national association for people with an intellectual disability. It campaigns for changes in services and legislation that will improve the quality of life and participation of people with an intellectual disability in Ireland. Its Connect Family Network map lists over 100 national and local intellectual disability support groups, nine of which are in the CHO7 area.
Irish Wheelchair Association
The Irish Wheelchair Association operates community centres with day services, member transport, training, holidays, outings, school leaver activities and outreach programmes through 58 full and part-time community centres around Ireland. For a county-by-county list of their services and supports, go to the Find Us page on their website.
Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation
Jack & Jill is a nationwide charity providing in-home nursing care and respite support for children up to the age of 6 with severe to profound cognitive delay. This may include children with brain injury, genetic diagnosis, cerebral palsy, and undiagnosed conditions. See their FAQs section (frequently asked questions) which explains how the charity can support families.
Jigsaw provides free, confidential, brief mental health supports for young people aged 12-25 in Ireland. Their Support section details their in-person services as well as options for online support. They also have an information section for parents and guardians.
Laura Lynn provide palliative care and support for children with life-limiting conditions. It runs Hazel House, which provides respite care to children with severe/profound intellectual disability and complex care needs with a maximum occupancy of seven children at any time. You can find more information on their respite service and its referral process here.
Little People of Ireland
Little People of Ireland (LPI) is the national charity in Ireland for people with dwarfism-related conditions. It promote awareness and understanding of the various conditions, as well as providing environmental, educational and occupational guidance and advice.
Living Well Programme
Living Well is a free group self-management programme run by the HSE. It is suitable for anyone who is: living with one or more long-term health conditions, or caring for someone with a long-term health condition. It is not suitable for people with significant memory or learning difficulties.
The Living Well programme has proven to be effective in helping people to manage their health conditions better. It runs in person or online for six weeks. You can find the details of upcoming workshops here - if there isn't a workshop running in your area, you can apply to attend another series of workshops.
Men's Aid is a service for men who are experiencing domestic violence and coercive control. It has a National Helpline (01 554 3811) which is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Men’s Aid provides one-to-one in-person counselling support for victim survivors of domestic violence, partner violence, familial abuse including coercive control. Counselling currently takes place in Navan, Co. Meath where they are based. Their monthly peer support group also meets in Navan.
Middletown Centre for Autism
The Middletown Centre for Autism was established by the Department of Education, Northern Ireland and the Department of Education, Ireland. It promotes best practice in the education of children and young people with autism throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Centre provides training, research, learning support and assessment and advice to parents, family members and educational professionals. It also hosts an annual conference on the latest research and practical supports which is open to autistic people, family members, educators, researchers and professionals to attend. You can access their online resources via their homepage - these resources include a Teenage Resource, a Building Capacity Resource, and a Sensory Processing Resource, amongst others.
Money Advice and Budgeting Service
The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is the State’s money advice service. The service is free of charge.
MABS offers impartial advice to help you manage your money, including this page on how to increase your income and check your social welfare entitlements. MABS offers support online, over the phone and face to face.
You can find your local MABS office here
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI) aims to provide information and support to people with neuromuscular conditions and their families through a range of support services. MDI supports advocating for services to enable people with neuromuscular conditions to fully participate in society and to live a life of their own choosing. MDI has a Family Support Service, a Youth/Respite Support Service, and an Equipment Loan Service.
National Council for Special Education
The NCSE’s local service is delivered through a national network of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs). They work with parents and schools and liaise with the HSE in providing resources to support children with special educational needs.
Details on the work of SENOs and how to contact your local team can be found here. You can also use their interactive map to find local contacts in your area and to see what special schools there are close to your home.
See also their Online Resources section for parents which is divided out as follows: early years, primary school, post-primary school, special class/school.
National Council for the Blind in Ireland
The National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI) works to support people who are blind or vision impaired in all aspects of their lives. The NCBI Children and Young Person’s services supports the development and independence of children and young people, from recent diagnosis up to third-level education. See here for the details of those services.
National Disability Authority
The National Disability Authority (NDA) is the independent statutory body that provides information and advice to the Government on policy and practice relevant to the lives of persons with disabilities.
One Family is Ireland’s national organisation for one-parent families. One Family works with individuals and families who may be parenting alone, sharing parenting, separating, step-parenting or experiencing a crisis pregnancy. One Family has a helpline - 0818 662212. One Family has also created this Budget 2024 Fact Sheet. It also has a Resources and Supports Section which includes information on parenting supports, early years parenting when separated, parent wellbeing, and a children's booklist which features books covering the themes of separation/divorce, diverse families, loss/bereavement, adoption/fostering, and blended/step-families.
Parenting Support provides local information on parenting supports and services in Kildare and Wicklow. Their parenting training schedule includes online zoom webinars (free to attend) as well as pre-recorded webinars (also free to access). You will find details of their Kildare supports and Wicklow supports also.
Parentline is a national, confidential helpline that offers parents support, information and guidance on all aspects of being a parent and any parenting issues. It’s a free service that does not require any referral.
Pieta provide free counselling to those with suicidal ideation, those engaging in self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide. It offers a 24/7 Crisis Helpline and Text Service (freephone 1800 247 247, or text 'Help' to 5144). Pieta also provides therapy to those impacted by suicidal ideation and engaging in self-harm, as well as those bereaved by suicide. It can be accessed free of charge and without a referral by calling 0818 111 126. Therapy is available nationally by phone, video and in person in 23 locations around the country.
Pobal administers and manages Government and EU funding to address disadvantage and support social inclusion. One of the Pobal programmes is the AIM Access and Inclusion Model. It is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the ECCE programme. It can provide a range of supports from level 1 to level 7, moving from universal to targeted supports. The AIM application process for each new pre-school year opens in May of that year. See the FAQs section of the AIM website for further information.
Samaritans offers emotional support 24/7, 365 days a year, to anyone who is in distress, lonely, struggling to cope or feeling suicidal. You can Contact the Samaritans in several ways: by free phone (116 123), by email (email@example.com). They also have a self-help app.
Shine works to shape better policies and services for those affected by mental health challenges. They support individuals and groups to enhance their recovery, challenge negative attitudes and behaviours and deliver a variety of programmes and services. Shine is the only national mental health organisation specifically founded to support all family members. Its teams provide a range of services to support individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges and their families and supporters. Shine provides phone and email support, individual support to people and families, peer support groups, and recovery education. You can read about its range of supports here.
Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Ireland
Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Ireland is the official organisation set up and run by Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia families, patients and volunteers to raise awareness and support of Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia in Ireland. It does this through educational workshops, seminars, media, printed information, promoting genetic screening and encouraging public policy change.
Sound Advice (formerly Irish Deaf Kids) works to support inclusive education in mainstream schools in Ireland by highlighting hearing technology and digital tools that deaf children, students and graduates can use. They also guide parents, educators, policymakers and employers on how to use technology as a leveller.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI)
SBHI has thousands of members nationwide consisting of those with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, their parents, siblings, family, friends and carers. SBHI offer a Family Support Service, as well as Education and Training and a Recreation and Respite Service.
spunout is Ireland’s youth information and support platform. It shares factual information on mental health and wellbeing. Its aim is to support young people to be informed, feel empowered and heard. Its website has sections on Mental Health, Health and Wellbeing and LGBTI+. It offers a free 24/7 text service called Text About It. It is a safe space for young people to share anonymously (Text HELLO to 50808 to start a conversation). It also runs a Youth Information Chat from 4-8pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
This free programme by the HSE was developed for anyone feeling they need some support in stress management. The programme does offer free online courses from time to time. In addition, there is a free zone on the site, where you can access free resources, as well as an enhanced zone, where you can access additional resources for the cost of €22. Access to the enhanced zone is for six months then.
Support Organisation for Trisomy (S.O.F.T.)
S.O.F.T is a voluntary group providing support for families of children born with Patau’s Syndrome (Trisomy 13), Edwards’ Syndrome (Trisomy 18) and related chromosomal disorders. It provides information to families, as well as putting them in contact with each other. It fund home and family support, respite assistance, and bereavement counselling. It organising family gatherings and professional speakers and also links in with S.O.F.T organisations worldwide.
SWAN (Syndromes Without A Name) Ireland
SWAN Ireland is a new Irish support group for people and families who have or whose child/children have a syndrome with no known diagnosis. In the UK, USA, and Australia these specifically dedicated support groups have been in existence for many years.
SWAN UK defines 'SWAN' as when a person is believed to have a genetic condition, where genetic testing was unable to identify the cause. Some children with SWAN might be described as presenting with 'global developmental delay' or 'failure to thrive'.
Join this group to connect with other families, be kept updated on upcoming news and events, plan and share your ideas to create a SWAN Ireland that fulfils your vision of what you, and other families, want SWAN Ireland to be.
The ISPCC operates Teenline, a national active listening service for children and young people up to the age of 18 in Ireland. Teenline can be contacted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 1800 833 634. The service is free to contact and is confidential, non-directive and non-judgmental.
Traveller Counselling Service
This is a community-based counselling service for the Traveller community. The service works from a culturally inclusive framework which respects Traveller culture, identity, values and norms and works from a perspective of culture centred counselling and psychotherapy. You'll find the locations where the counsellors are based here.
This service provides free online counselling and online support groups for young people aged 12 to 17 and adults. You can read more about the services in its FAQs. You can also see details of their online support groups, which you can filter by ages 12-14 years, 15-17 years, and adults. See their Information Section for posts on mental health, family, loss and grief, communication, confidence, self-image and other topics.
Túsla, also known as the Child and Family Agency, is the State agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. Its work focuses on the areas of child protection and welfare, educational welfare, early years services, family and locally-based community supports, and domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services. You can find details of their Child and Family Support Network (CFSN) Coordinators here. There are 121 CFSNs throughout Ireland, made up of a variety of agencies and local voluntary and community services and the Coordinator relevant to your area will be able to help you get the support you need. See also the Parenting 24seven section which shares key messages on what works best for children and families at different ages and stages.
Unique is charity working to support a global network of families and individuals affected by a rare chromosome or genetic disorder. It can help you understand more about your child's disorder and match you with families for support. You can read their free Rare Chromosome and Genetic Booklets here. See also their Glossary of genetic /genomic terms.
Women’s Aid is a national organisation working to prevent and address the impact of domestic violence and abuse including coercive control. It has a National Helpline (1800 341 900) available 24/7 which covers over 200 languages and is always free. It also has an Instant Messaging Support Service which is free, confidential and secure. In the Greater Dublin area, it also provides a One-to-one service – you book an appointment through the helpline; Court Support; and Maternity Outreach Service. Women's Aid also provides practical assistance directly to women who are engaged with its face-to-face services and who are facing financial hardship and/or in need of support to increase their security at home or legal costs because of domestic abuse.