About Us

About Parentline

For over thirty years, Parentline has provided a completely confidential helpline for parents and guardians.

Parents phone Parentline with all sorts of problems. There is no typical call. Calls come from parents of new born babies, toddlers, pre-teens and teenagers – children of all ages. All ages offer different challenges.

We offer support, guidance and information on all aspects of being a parent and the reassurance that, whatever the problem, you’re not the first parent to face it. Sometimes, all you could need is a listening ear.

All Parentline facilitators receive extensive training before going on the lines. They are non-judgemental and have a broad knowledge and understanding of the wide range of problems parents encounter. They will listen and guide parents to help them find the answers they seek.

Parentline facilitators are real people who understand that sometimes the best help can be simply listening with understanding, compassion and care.

Parentline welcomes calls about any parenting issue – a problem which seems trivial at an early stage can easily develop into a more serious issue for both parent and child if unaddressed.

Parentline’s lines are open Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 9. 30 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.

Parentline can be contacted at low call number 1890 927277

The History of Parentline

Parentline, formerly known as Parents Under Stress, was founded by a group of concerned nurses and health care workers in response to the emerging problem of child abuse. It was modelled on a U.S. organisation called “Parents Anonymous” which operated somewhat like Alcoholics Anonymous in that parents who were abusing their children could meet and offer each other mutual support.

These parent support groups were started in 1980. In 1983 in order that the service would be available to as many people as possible the anonymous telephone helpline was established.

Who Calls Parentline

Anybody who has a parenting issues: – parents, grandparents, guardians minders, concerned friends and siblings, health workers and doctors. Our callers are from all walks of life, all points on the social spectrum and from all types of family formations.

Parentline takes approx 3,000+ calls a year from people who need to talk to someone about the difficulties they are experiencing.

Fathers Calling Parentline

When Parentline was first set up almost 100% of the calls came from mothers. In the first year of operation Parentline received one call from a father. In the intervening years the number of fathers calling the helpline is increasing all the time. Calls from fathers now represent approx. 14% of calls.

The content of calls from fathers has also changed. 20 years ago fathers used to ask ‘how they could support their wife with her parenting.’ The calls from fathers now show they are playing a much more active role in parenting and there is no difference between the parenting issues raised by men and women.

Parentline Services

Over the years, in response to demands from parents, Parentline has widened its range of services:

Board of directors:

Anna Barry, Shane Coleman, Terence Hayden, Frances Kelly, Michele Ridgway

Company Secretary:

Rita O’Reilly

Charity Number:


Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising

Parentline is fully committed to achieving the standards contained within the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising.

The statement was developed by the Irish Charities and Tax Research group and exists to provide charities in Ireland with a Fundraising Code of Practice.

The purpose of the statement is to:

  • Improve fundraising practice;
  • Promote high levels of accountability and transparency by organisations fundraising from the public;
  • Provide clarity and assurances to donors and prospective donors about the organisations they support.

For more information please see:

Statement of intent

Governance Code

Parentline is committed to adopting and complying with the Code of Governance

Governance refers to how an organisation is run, directed and controlled. Good governance means an organisation will design and put in place policies and procedures that will make sure the organisation runs effectively. Parentline  is committed to designing and implementing these policies.

For more information please see:

Statement of intent