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Because family life matters

Support for you

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Find out how our additional needs support project can help you.

Befriending service

As a parent of a child with additional needs, we can often feel different from other parents.  Conversations may become strained and artificial as we feel that other parents can’t possibly understand where we are coming from. This is when it can be so valuable to have someone to talk to openly and honestly about how life really is.

Care for the Family’s befriending service offers understanding and support to parents of children with additional needs. All our befrienders are trained and are, themselves, parents of children with additional needs who can share insights and encouragement from their own personal experiences.

Nicola Watson

Nicola Watson – Additional needs coordinator

Nicola who coordinates the additional needs project has many years of experience in working with families where there is a child with additional needs and understands the challenges parents face. Through the befriending service, many parents have found it a huge help to speak with someone who has ‘been there’ too. Here are some comments:

“Talking with another parent in a similar situation helps me to deal with the well-meaning but often inappropriate comments from other parents around me who just don’t get it.”

“Strangely, off-loading my emotions and sharing practical issues with someone who had an understanding really helped me and my relationship with other family members.”

“Care for the Family provided a network to help me raise my child so I am no longer just one mum in isolation.”

If you would like to be put in touch with a trained befriender, someone who has first-hand experience of parenting a child or children with additional needs, please telephone us on 029 2081 0800 or email

Find out more about our telephone befriending service.


Care for the Family’s additional needs project produces a regular email newsletter containing encouraging and informative articles.


Additional Needs Support

Care for the Family – Additional Needs has its own Facebook page. Like our page to receive the latest updates, encouragement and peer-support from other parents of additional needs children.

Do talk about additional needs

Life can sometimes be tough for those caring for children with additional needs. At Care for the Family we asked some parents what others could do to help. In this clip our volunteers, some of whom are Additional Needs Support befrienders, illustrate what they said:

Top tips leaflets

Download our top tips leaflets to help you as a parent raising a child or children with additional needs.

Helpful contacts

For further information and support for parents of children with additional needs, take a look at our list of helpful contacts.

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