What is a Family Resource Centre


Donegal is about to get its tenth Family Resource Centre based in the Finn Valley.

Donegal’s Family Resource Centres are part of Ireland’s largest family support programme providing services to families living in disadvantaged areas across the country.

What do Donegal’s Family Resource Centres do?

They provide information, advice and support.  Information on services and options available locally, advice on accessing rights and entitlements and one-to-one support to families on a range of issues. The Family Resource Centre’s act as a focal point for onward referrals to main stream services.

They also provide services in their centres to local families such as Parent and Toddler groups, Breastfeeding support groups, Parenting programmes, Carer’s groups and Bereavement groups. Many of the Family Resource Centres run their own local counselling services and Social Prescribing services which work together with GPs and health professionals to help fill the gap in services to families.

They offer a range of after-school activities for children; sports, arts and homework clubs as well as specialist learning support for children with particular needs such as dyslexia.

The Family Resource Centres in Donegal work closely with Donegal E&TB to provide a wide range of community education classes for adults at their centres such as arts and crafts, computer and IT classes, fitness and wellbeing classes.

In addition Family Resource Centres work together with volunteers from the community to develop things like Men’s Sheds, Breakfast Clubs, Community Gardens, Writer’s Groups and Walking Groups. They often hold events and open days for health screening, wellbeing and pampering and family fun days.

Please drop into your local Family Resource Centre you will always find a friendly face, a staff member who will listen and treat your enquiry in total confidence.

The Forge Family Resource Centre, Pettigo: 071 9861924

Donegal Town Family Resource Centre: 074 9725337

Downstrands Family Resource Centre, Portnoo: 074 9545879

Cara House Family Resource Centre, Letterkenny: 074 9123986

Raphoe Family Resource Centre: 074 9145796

Moville and District Family Resource Centre: 074 9385548

Mevagh Family Resource Centre, Downings: 074 9155055

Dunfanaghy Family Resource Centre: 074 9136548

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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