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The Community Mother Project utilises experienced volunteer mothers in the midlands  area to give support to parents with children up to five years of age.  The Project has been in existence in Longford/Westmeath for a number of years and has supported over a hundreds of families since its inception.

In Ireland today families have wide ranging and diverse needs.  Issues such as childcare, balancing work and family life, lone parenting and lack of family networks have put new pressures on today's families.

If parents are to promote the health and development of their children, it has been recognised that parents need support especially after the birth of their first child. Having children and raising them during the early years, though undoubtedly a source of pleasure and fulfilment for almost every parent, at the same time puts pressure on parents' lives. Research has shown that knowledge acquired during the early years of parenting is the building blocks for future health, well being, and learning as well as emotional security.  Therefore, it is important that parents are supported during the early years.

The Community Mothers Project aims to support and encourage parents to reach their full potential thereby enhancing parents' confidence and self esteem. Community Mothers are non professional volunteers who use their experience as mothers as well as local knowledge to support families.  Community Mothers offer mother to mother support and recognise parents as equals and experts in the upbringing of their children.

The service is funded by TUSLA - The Child and Family Agency in collaboration with Westmeath Community Development in each respective area.  TUSLA are very happy to be working with the organizations concerned in the delivery of the Community Mothers Projects. “These services form an integral part of TUSLA - The Child and Family Agency Family Support Project delivery in Longford/Westmeath,” stated Mr. Eamonn Farrell, TUSLA Family Support Services Manager, “To date, the services have been made available to over 100 families and provided in excess of 2000 visits. The feedback from clients and referrers has been very positive with all clients referring to the supportive, caring and non judgemental role of the volunteers”. 

Westmeath Community Development, sees this as an opportunity for Westmeath Community Development to work in partnership with TUSLA through our community development measure and to develop a forum which will effectively support parents at what can be a difficult time’

How does it work?

You can request a Community Mother to call by asking at the ante-natal clinic, asking your Public Health Nurse, Practice Nurse, G.P. or any other professional or by contacting the Project offices. For contact details go to Longford, Athlone or Mullingar sections of the website or directly to Contact, where you will find all necessary information.

The Co-ordinator will arrange an initial visit to determine which Community Mother will best suits the needs of the referred mother/parent.  All visits take place in the parent’s home and this service is free.

Are you interested in becoming a Community Mother?

Community Mothers are selected because of their experience as parents. A short training Project will be delivered to prospective Community Mothers in order to enhance their knowledge of local resources as well as enhancing their knowledge of parenting issues.

The role of the Community Mother will be to provide a listening ear, be reliable, trustworthy, non-judgemental but above all encouraging. The number of parents a volunteer will visit is very much dependent on what time you are able to give.

If you require more information please contact the Project offices directly.