Great Attendances at Parent Forums in Dundalk and Drogheda: Focus on Bullying, Mental Health & Resilience
The Genesis Programme in conjunction with its four Area Coordination Teams (ACTs) hosted a series of Parent Forums in Dundalk and Drogheda recently, with great attendances at each and lots of useful discussion and information..
The focus of all four was on Bullying and Online Safety for Children and each had a range of expert speakers on this topic.
At the North Dundalk Forum, the speakers included James Neary (Children of the Digital Age) and Paul Egan. Paul Burke (Community Garda) was the MC.
At the South Dundalk Forum, the speakers included Pól Bond (NEPS), Wayne Denner (Digital Ninja) and Imogen Nolan (ISPCC). The speakers along with JLO John Brady also took part in a Q&A. Carol-Anne White (HSCL Scoil Eoin Baiste) was MC.
At the South Drogheda Forum, the speakers included Dave Rothwell (Community Garda), Anita O’Shea (Juvenile Liaison Officer), Deborah James (Child and Adult Mental Health Service Psychologist) and Grainne Farren (Youth Development Worker with Boomerang Youth Service). The speakers also took part in a Q&A session. Bairbre English (HSCL Marymount NS) was the MC.
At the North Drogheda Forum, the speakers included Paul Egan and James Neary (Children of the Digital Age). Maire Devine (HSCL St.Brigid’s NS & St. Patrick’s NS) was MC and Audrey Lynch (HSCL Presentation NS) was scribe for the morning.
Other community organisations were also in attendance at all four forums to highlight the supports they can offer.
The idea of bringing parents together or a Parent Forum came about as a result of a group of parents wanting to continue to meet following completion of a Parent Programme in Muirhevnamór, Dundalk in 2011.
It was pretty obvious from their meetings that these parents were gaining a lot of support and learning from each other. So, the idea developed into bringing all parents together who had completed a parent programme. We started off with Parent Forums in Dundalk and then in Drogheda.
In May, 2017, The Genesis Programme held a number of Focus Groups with parents to find out how they wanted the Parent Forums to operate and parents were clearly saying that they wanted a Parent Forum to be localised, in their own communities – hence the reason, we are having 4 Parent Forums in Co. Louth next week – one in North Drogheda, one in South Drogheda, one in South Dundalk and one in North Dundalk.
When parents were asked which the issues they would most like to discuss at the Parent Forums, all four areas agreed that bullying was the main issue impacting on children and parents lives at the moment. The issue of mental health was also addressed. That is the reason why all four Parent Forums focused on bullying and mental well-being,