Civic society across Europe is facing difficult and hard times, with increasing pressure of children and families, so their need for effective and evidence informed interventions is now vital.

Pat Dolan from the Compendium of Family Support Read [+]

Happy Parent Initiative (HP) is a developmental initiative.

Happy Parent is about finding the time to make a “creative space” for parents, which might allow for a different kind of communication involving fun and expression. Have a listen to what people at a recent Roundtable thought about it.

Barry Cullen has recently produced a review report and made a presentation to our October Board meeting. Click here to review the Slide Presentation and Review Report (October 2012).

We have delivered workshops in

Workshops are under development in

If you organisation is interested in organising Happy Parent please download our Brochure and Explanatory Note

  Millennium Family Resource Centre, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
No. of participants: 8

The participants were generally from the Glengoole & Gortnahoe parish with one participant coming from Three Drives Family Resource Centre which is in Tipperary Town. Three of the participants were parents who were not workers for any community service and are regulars participants of Millennium FRC. Watch
  Connect Family Resource Centre, Drogheda, Co Louth.
No. of participants: 6

Angela Murphy's direct experience helped her to see where else she could use these workshops and her enthusiasm and openness also motivated the group to discuss possibilities of initiating workshops as part of their summer programme



  Peoples Resource Centre, Kells, Co. Meath
No. of participants: 9

Car journeys and travelling from somewhere else were amongst their shared experiences. The group were asked to create an ideal “vehicle” or “vehicles”.  Watch
  Neart hAmhnais Teoranta, Ballyhaunis FRC.
No. of participants: 7

Ballyhaunis FRC comprised of a group of both local and non-national people. They discussed childhood myths and sacred places, recalling how adults would tell them stories of fairies or spirits who were either protectors or “scary” and meant to keep them away from particular places. Watch
  BUDS FRC, Tralee, Co. Kerry
in association with St. Brigid's Community Centre//Kerryhead/Ballyheigue FRC//Castlemaine FRC//Listowel FRC.
No. of participants: 13

Many of the workers had a personal interest in art and so there is real potential to incorporate this developmental activity into existing programmes.  Watch
  Ballyboden and Killinarden FRCs, Dublin.
No. of participants: 6

They decided to create their ideal day out – a day at the beach. They discussed transport, what you can see, and activities on the beach. Watch
More coming soon!

This video is based on an evaluation report on the Bluedrum Happy Parents Initiative.


So far we delivered seven workshops nationwide to 60 participants and involved 12 Family Resource Centres.

I found the project fantastic. I thought it created a very safe way for people to communicate and get to know each other. It was great for the girls to mix with other girls. I have even tried it at home with my 4 year old and we got more than the usual scribbles but more importantly we were communicating effectively. Overall I really enjoyed it and I feel it is a very safe and creative way for families to improve communication.

Gillian Mc Williams, Killinarden FRC

Evaluation questions

What started in January 2012 has touched a pulse in FRCs for a new developmental project aimed primarily at vulnerable parents with children between the ages of 4-8. We wanted to focus on homeless parents including those living on illegal halting sites or in poor housing; those with mental health and addiction problems; unemployed; high levels of debt and indebtedness; those having contact with probation and courts systems; asylum seekers and migrant workers.

We want to review the test phase and ask questions like: What happened and what has worked?  What has failed, as we can learn from such experiences too? What sort of numbers did we reach and what is the profile of this groups against our initial benchmark of vulnerable families ? How can we make progress and be more critical as well as make improvements? How can we open connections to

Parents Plus

Incredible Years

Archways and two recent research reports: Parent Training Changing Lives and In Trouble from Day 1

Springboard Projects