Children are experiencing increased rates of health problems, such as obesity and higher levels of anxiety. With our Healthy Families Programme you can empower parents to create healthy and connected families and improve well-being for everyone. 

This course is suitable for professionals such as dieticians, and public health nurses working with families with young children aged 1 to 12 years. It is flexible and can be delivered over 6-12 weeks in small groups or with individuals. This programme is practical, solution-focused and draws on parents strengths.

By training as a facilitator of this programme, you will learn how to support parents to:

  • Understand how to improve their families health and well-being
  • Promote healthy eating and mealtimes
  • Incorporate active play and physical activities into their day
  • Maintain positive mental health and self-esteem
  • Establish good routines for sleep 
  • Set up rules around technology use at home
  • Build positive family relationships

“The Healthy Families Programme is relevant to all areas of modern family life.  The issues that parents look for most support with are routines, screen-time, mealtimes and establishing good sleep patterns for their kids.  The Healthy Families Programme answers all of these concerns and gives parents the tools to address these issues in a positive manner.”

Brona Murphy, Transitions Development Worker

The Healthy Families Programme facilitator training is suitable for a range of professionals, including:

  • Primary Care Teams such as Psychologists and Public Health Nurses
  • Family practitioners
  • Parenting Lead/Teams
  • Family Hubs Teams/Managers
  • Family Liaison Officers
  • Parenting Support Team/ Team Managers
  • HSE Sláintecare Healthy Communities 
  • Children’s Hospitals
  • Dieticians
  • Health Promotion Officers
  • Family Resource Centres
  • Regional Parent support networks
  • TUSLA Parenting Support Champions Project
  • Area Based Childhood Programme (ABC)

The Healthy Families Programme facilitator training is practical and solution-focused and will provide you with the essential skills and learning to achieve the best outcomes for the parents and families who attend your service.

The training focuses on:

  • Developing an in-depth understanding of this programme
  • Delivering the programme via face-to-face and online sessions to groups and individual families
  • Providing opportunities to observe and practise the skills to become a solution-focused facilitator
  • Building on parents strengths as a basis for ongoing change
  • Strengthening inter-agency and community partnerships

See Presentation on Healthy Families Programme

Facilitator Training

The next facilitator training for our Healthy Families programme starts in September 2024 and will consist of 4 online modules via Zoom on the 26th & 27th of September and 3rd & 4th October 2024 (9am-1.30pm) Participants are also invited to complete a short assignment between workshops. The training schedule is detailed here and you can book online here.

Watch the video of the Launch of the Healthy Families Programme here:

Video Sections:

  • 5:34 – Professor John Sharry introduces Parents Plus
  • 14:22 – Dr Adele Keating discusses programme background
  • 31:55 – Parents speak about the changes they made
  • 34:02 – Michelle Choudhry details programme content
  • 59:09 – A mother discusses a habit she changed
  • 1:08:48 – Professor Sharry discusses next steps & sponsored training
  • 1:11:52 – Q&A

The Parents Plus facilitator trainings are open to qualified education, mental health and community professionals who work with families.

Our programmes are successfully delivered with impressive outcomes in a variety of Primary Care, School, Health, Disability and Mental Health settings.

  • Attendance at our facilitator training for this programme is compulsory prior to delivering it to families attending your service.
  • Parents Plus programmes must be co-facilitated, therefore, at least two facilitators need to be trained before a programme can be delivered to families in your agency. Facilitators who go on to complete our accreditation process are licensed to run the programme without a co-facilitator.

Please read our licensing guidelines here
prior to booking a place on our training.

After a series of focus groups and workshops with families, the Parents Plus Healthy Families programme was developed in 2019.

During 2020 it was piloted and evaluated with groups of parents in schools and primary care.

In a UCD supervised pre and post evaluation of 42 parents completing the programme, there were significant improvements on the Kansas Parental Satisfaction Scale (KPS) scores, the Lifestyle Behaviour Checklist (LBC) and the programme Healthy Habits Questionnaire.  In addition, on the Healthy Habits Questionnaire parents showed improvement across many domains including Healthy Routines and Mealtimes, Active play, Sleep and Family Connection.

Research shows that families achieve the best outcomes when facilitators and their managers are supported pre and post-training to deliver programmes. We provide a comprehensive package of pre and post-training supports to our facilitators and managers in order to ensure a sustainable and effective delivery of the programmes within their agency. 

Our supports include:

  • Implementation support to get groups off the ground, including planning workshops and coaching for managers.
  • Individual and group supervision sessions with an experienced Parents Plus Trainer.
  • Advanced training workshops on specific topics.
  • Extra resources to facilitate delivery, e.g. fliers, posters, certificates, practice articles, parenting articles, supplementary handouts.

  • Support to promote your Parents Plus courses in your community.
  • Advice and guidance on evaluating and monitoring outcomes in your agency to ensure your groups are effective.
  • Access to two individual supervision sessions free of charge in the first year post-training.
  • Sponsorship for further supervision is available on application.

You can read more details about our pre- and post-training supports here.

On completing the facilitator training for the Parents Plus Healthy Families Programme, you will be licensed to co-deliver this programme under supervision in your agency, to groups and with individuals. You can read our full licensing guidelines here.

For facilitators who want to take their practice to a higher level, Parents Plus also has an established accreditation process which supports you to refine your facilitation skills and professional practice and reach a high standard of delivery. Representing a major CPD achievement, accreditation allows you to deliver our programmes independently and to work towards becoming a Parents Plus supervisor. You can read more about our accreditation process in the resources section.

Our Healthy Families programme package includes a range of materials to ensure it’s effective delivery.

  • A comprehensive facilitator manual, with detailed guides to plan and deliver each session, including how to structure group discussion and exercises
  • Two colourful parent books, containing all the programme handouts and worksheets for participants* as well as supplementary information booklets from Safefood, HSE and Healthy Ireland.

*In running subsequent courses, trained facilitators can purchase additional parent books at cost price. Trained facilitators are also licensed to copy worksheets and handouts from the parent books, as an alternative.

Parent Plus provides onsite training to organisations and communities in Ireland and internationally.  This is a cost-effective way to train your team or to partner with other agencies to deliver evidence-based programmes in your area.

If you would like to arrange an onsite training for your organisation, please contact our Impact Lead, Vicki Byrne at Ivpxv@cneragfcyhf.vr

Change the future for families