Parent Supports and Information

As a parent to a child needing hospital treatment or caring for a child at home, it can be confusing trying to understand the supports available and if they are relevant to you and your family.

You can use this page to find some of the supports available to parents caring for a child with an illness or injury.

Who Can Help?

Family Carers Ireland

Family Carer’s Ireland provide free support for family carers and young carers through the provision of free emergency care planning, counselling, specialised training and education programmes, wellbeing support, crisis management, emergency respite/respite provision, advocacy, peer support groups, information on rights and entitlements and many other worthwhile initiatives.

Need blurb so parents understand this support is available regardless of whether they are in hospital unexpectedly or their child has just received a diagnosis, child is receiving outpatient treatment, parents are balancing work while caring for their child or are providing around the clock care.
Get Support | Family Carers Ireland

Care Alliance
The Online Family Carer Support Project, an initiative of Care Alliance Ireland, offers support to nearly 4,000 family carers all over Ireland. This online support project aims to increase the well-being of family carers, and reduce the isolation and loneliness often experienced by those with caring responsibilities. Run through the Facebook platform, the Online Family Carer Support Group gives family carers a chance to connect with people who understand and offers a range of activities such as coffee mornings, book clubs, a gardening club, art classes, and zoom quizzes, to name but a few. All of these activities are 100% online, making it more accessible for family carers to take part.

To join the Online Family Carer Support Group, simply click here:

You can find out more information about the online support project and Care Alliance Ireland here:

Diagnosis, illness or injury specific Supports for parents
Search our database to see if there is a support organization that provides supports or peer support to parents – Link
Many parents also connect to other parents with similar experiences in Facebook and other social media-based support groups. Many of these groups can be found using the search feature in Facebook etc.

Medical Social Worker
Sample content – Possible ask Sheila May/Jane from TS for input?
Question – Who can access SW? Receive a diagnosis from a consultant – can you contact social work dept?

Sample description Medical Social Work (HP) – Temple Street (

Other medical professionals
Should we include a general mention of the range of other professionals who may be able to support depending on the situation? E.g. Outreach nurse etc?

Hospital Chaplain

Hospital Chaplains are specifically trained in pastoral care in a hospital setting and work as part of the multidisciplinary team in the hospital. They seek to meet the pastoral and emotional needs of the patients, families and are available to be a source of comfort, empathy, compassion and hope to families particularly during times of crisis or bereavement.

Sample description Chaplaincy – Temple Street (


Financial and other supports

Check out our Supports (link) page to learn about a range of government and charitable supports available – Link to page.

Managing employment when your child is sick

Understanding the types of leave available – Carers, parental, compassionate, force majeure
 Carer’s leave (
Leave for parents (
Other types of leave from work (

Citizens Information Bureau and Family Carers Ireland (confirm) can provide guidance on navigating employment and taking leave when your child is sick.

Important considerations, questions to ask and tips – Anna
Sample article Taking time off work when your child is sick: know your rights | TUC UK article but sample content

Education and Training for Parents/Carers

Family Carers Ireland
Family Carers Ireland provide a range of face-face, online and e-learning training sessions for parents. Topics include safety, first aid, patient handling, self- care, understanding grief and many more. To find out more check out the website Learning & Education (, take a look at the monthly events page Events | Family Carers Ireland or call the freephone number 1800240724 to be connected to your local Carers Supports Manager.

Care Alliance Ireland
Care Alliance Provides a useful list of free online course for carers on a range of topics.
Care Alliance – Courses

HSE Living Well Building Better Carers Program
Building Better Caregivers is for those caring for a child, teenager, young adult, a parent, family member, a loved one or friend. Classes are highly participatory, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their caregiving tasks and maintain a fulfilling life.

Topics include:

  • Self-care methods to improve caregiver’s health
  • Dealing with difficult emotions
  • Managing difficult care partner behaviours
  • Planning for the future
  • Finding resources
  • Improving communication skills with family and friends
  • Family meetings
  • Communicating with health professionals and health care system
  • Action-planning, problem-solving, decision-making and much more

Living Well programme –

Emergency Planning

Free Carers Emergency Scheme

The Family Carers Ireland free emergency scheme will ensure that the person you care for will continue to receive the support they need during a time of crisis and from people you trust. Emergency situations include:

  • Carer being involved in an accident
  • Carer being taken ill suddenly
  • Carer needing unplanned hospital care

Emergency Care Scheme | Family Carers Ireland
Family Carers Ireland Emergency Care Plan

Carers Emergency Card
Carry the Carer’s Emergency Card (JPG) so that in case you have an accident or are taken ill, then the details on the card can be used to make sure the person you care for is looked after.

Travelling Abroad

Travelling abroad.

Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation have prepared useful information to help you prepare for travelling abroad including airport support services, planning for oxygen, feed and feeding equipment and various other topics.
Useful Information | Children’s Charity Ireland | Jack and Jill

Spinal Injuries Ireland have prepared useful information to help you prepare for travel abroad including travelling with a wheelchair or electronic medical equipment, toileting on a plane and travelling with medication.
Travelling by air with a spinal cord injury – Spinal Injuries

European Health Insurance Card
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) lets you get healthcare when abroad for free, or at a reduced cost. You can use the card in any European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland. It covers you if you’re on holiday, or on a short-term stay of no more than 3 months. Each family member needs their own EHIC. The card is free and there’s no charge to apply.
Apply for an EHIC in Ireland –

Contact Citizen’s Information Bureau for additional information
The European Health Insurance Card (

Return to work or study (Could be moved to Planning for the future? )

Family Carers Ireland – Working Care Out
Family Carers Ireland’s free Working Care Out program supports current and former carers to enhance wellbeing and to address questions and worries about returning to work or study. Supports include a Virtual Clinic with a Career Coach, online Group Support and Skills Development Program. Follow the link to learn more about the program or contact the team. Working Care Out | Family Carers Ireland

FCI have also created a range of digital resources on topics such as job searching, CV and cover letters, interview preparation and more..
Working Care Out Digital Resources | Family Carers I…

Building your Curriculum Vitae
Care Alliance Ireland have prepared this useful document that can help identify skills developed as a carer that may be applicable to a job application or to include in your curriculum Vitae.
Skills Acquired through Caring.pdf (

Planning for the future

Visit our planning for the future section for information about:

  • Preparing your child to move to adult healthcare services
  • Financial planning for the future
  • Education transitions –  title needs rework
  • Life after caring – useful resources for parents……….