Published on
23 June 2022

Families affected by offending are set to receive continued support thanks to a partnership between Barnardo’s Northern Ireland and the Probation Service for Northern Ireland.  

The Barnardo’s-run Parenting Matters service will receive funding until March 2023, the Probation Board announced today. 

The service, which has been running since 2013 works to reduce instances of reoffending in order to make communities safer and reduce the impact and trauma of parental offending on children. Since its launch, the service has supported 800 families across Northern Ireland. 

The specialist support is targeted at parents, step-parents and expectant parents as well as those who have a sibling under the age of 18, who have been given an Enhanced Combination Order (ECO) or other community Probation Order. With this new funding, up to one hundred parents across Northern Ireland will receive support from workers through Parenting Matters.  

Adult male holding smiling boy

Those who receive support will be helped to meet their children’s needs by improving their parenting knowledge and strengthening key relationships.  

Michele Janes, Director of Barnardo’s NI said: “We are delighted that the Probation Service has chosen to work with us again this coming year, to support vulnerable local families.   

“The commitment and determination to change that our families have shown in a bid to improve the lives of their children and future generations has been incredibly impressive.  

“By supporting families to strengthen their relationships with their children, we are working together to break the cycle of reoffending.”  

The Chief Executive of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland Amanda Stewart said: “Probation’s role is to change lives for safer communities. We can’t do this in isolation, and that is why partnerships with organisations like Barnardo’s NI are so important. In order to tackle the causes of offending behaviour we have a range of interventions and programmes to help us challenge and change people’s lives. The support provided through Parenting Matters is making a real difference to the lives of families throughout Northern Ireland and we look forward to our continued partnership to make communities safer.”