PRESS RELEASE: New national pilot service launched to support the needs of parents of children in care

Published date: 
12 Jul 2023


New national pilot service launched to support the needs of parents of children in care


Today (12.07.2023), a new national pilot service has been launched that seeks to meet the support needs of parents of children in care. The Parental Advocacy and Information Service delivered by Barnardos has been commissioned by Tusla – the Child and Family Agency to support, empower and enable parents with children in care to actively participate in the child protection and court systems.

According to Clare Murphy, Director of Services and Integration with Tusla,
"The National Support Service for Parents of Children in Care, commissioned by Tusla and established in partnership with Children’s Rights Alliance, aims to empower and support parents in actively participating in child protection and court systems.

“By providing information, preparation, and connections to needed services, we can help parents navigate the often overwhelming legal and emotional challenges they face. This initiative prioritises parents' rights and ensures their voices are heard, enabling them to advocate for their children's best interests. We believe this pilot program has the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of parents and their children who are in care, and we are grateful for the support of Barnardos who will deliver the service and all those involved in bringing this important initiative to fruition."

Through the advocacy service, parents will have access to many valuable supports that will enable them to understand child protection and legal processes and what these mean for them and their child. Parents will be able to receive support in preparing for and attending meetings with Tusla, legal professionals and court hearings, including help in accessing a solicitor.

The new service is currently being piloted in Dublin City, Wexford and Waterford. Siobhan Greene Barnardos Director of Children’s Services said:
“Barnardos is delighted to see the investment in this much needed service for parents of children in care. Through the national advocacy and information service, parents of children in care are empowered to actively participate in the care and court processes. Parents being actively involved in their children’s care process has significant benefits for them and their children. We are excited to see what this five-year pilot will achieve and see the difference it will make to the children and parents on the edge of care.”


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Emma Archbold, Campaigns and Communications Director, Children’s Rights Alliance / Gillian Hogan, Communications Officer, Children’s Rights Alliance – 087 997 1410 /

Notes to Editors:

  • Spokespeople from the Children’s Rights Alliance, Barnardos, and Tusla – the Child and Family Agency are available for interview.

The Parental Advocacy and Information Service is delivered by Barnardos. It provides Advocacy & Information to Parents whom children are in care these supports include:
Advocacy service
• Face to face advocacy available in Dublin North City, Waterford and Wexford
• Information about your rights
• Help in understanding information given and decisions made
• Help in communicating with your child’s social worker
• Help in preparing for meetings and court proceedings
• Help in accessing a solicitor
• Support at meetings, reviews and child protection conferences and at court hearings.
• To contact the advocacy service, call 01 453 0355

National Information & Advice service
• Dedicated professional confidential free phone line Monday to Friday 10am-1pm 1800 333 355 or email:
• Information provided
• Signposting to services
• Written information in accessible forms
• Information workshops/webinars