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Simpson Family Resource Centre

Frequently asked questions

Q. What do Barnardo’s do in Northern Ireland?

A. Barnardo’s have been working in Northern Ireland since 1899 when the ‘Ever Open Door’ service opened in Great Victoria Street, Belfast.

Barnardo’s vision is that the lives of all children and young people should be free from poverty, abuse and discrimination. Barnardo’s purpose is to help the most vulnerable children transform their lives.

Today, Barnardo’s Northern Ireland employs over 400 full and part-time staff. The organisation works with 8,000 children, young people and their families in 38 projects throughout Northern Ireland. In our work with children and young people today we attempt to make a difference by ...

  • The empowerment of families.
  • Supporting parents in the parenting task.
  • Challenging the social exclusion of families in disadvantaged communities and families experiencing particular difficulties.


Q. What are your referral criteria?

A. These broad issues have been agreed with the SET as the main priorities for referrals :-

  • Child/family in need of assessment and/or support to facilitate a return home of a child(ren) from substitute care.
  • There is a confirmed Child Protection concern.
  • An assessment of Potential Child Protection concern is required.
  • There is a child at risk of significant harm or in need as defined in Children Order (NI) 1995.

Q. What is a contract meeting?

A. This is a meeting at Simpson FRC with the service user and the referrer prior to commencing work. We will reach an agreement about what issues need to be covered in our weekly sessions over a period of around 6 to 8 weeks.

Q. Describe a typical session

A. A typical session will start with a reminder of the previous session and work done to date. You can see any notes we have taken from previous sessions.

  • We will usually give you the opportunity to discuss any issues that have arisen for you and any developments since the last session.
  • We will set out main topics for discussion on a flip-chart and take notes on this chart during the session so you can see what we are writing down. These topics are our idea of what we need to talk about, but if you have other pressing issues, we will include these.
  • Towards the end of the session we will ask for your feed back about the value of the session. We value your comments as this helps us improve our service to you and to other service users.
  • Sometimes we set ‘Tasks’ between sessions. This may be a short written questionnaire for discussion at the next session or a practical task relating to what we have been discussing.

Q. What is a review?

A. This is a meeting where we sit down with the service user and referrer after an agreed number of sessions to look at what work has been done; how successful it has been; and whether there is more work or a new piece of work needed. The main worker with the family will produce a report for this meeting summarising the sessions completed. This will be shared with the service user and the referrer.

The review may decide:-

  • Work is complete, or cannot proceed for other reasons.
  • More of the same sort of work is needed.
  • A new piece of work is required.