Parenting NI is a parenting support charity based in Northern Ireland that provides support via a wide range of services for parents as well as working as an advocate of parents to policymakers and stakeholders. The services provided to parents include a freephone helpline which parents can call to get support with any parenting issue. Parents can also attend face to face appointments where one can explore family issues and focus on finding realistic, manageable and practical solutions for their families. Parenting NI offers a range of parenting programs on various topics including parenting teenagers, mental health, parenting apart and child to parent violence. Parents can sign up for different classes and meet and support others in similar situations in a safe and healthy environment.
Parenting NI’s Objectives: Handling Sensitive Topics with Utmost Care
Parenting NI wanted to gather the parenting views of a wide range of individuals throughout Northern Ireland that was respectful to the sensitive topic at hand. Instead of asking parents in person or in an email, QuestionPro offered the organization the opportunity to anonymously aggregate feedback and views from people across Northern Ireland on a range of diverse parenting and family topics with complete confidentiality. SSL privacy and security settings gave the organization and respondents peace of mind knowing their data was protected and anonymous at all times. Despite the small staff size, QuestionPro enabled Parenting NI to engage with a broader reach of parents across the country and ensure their views and opinions were counted in the topics that were consulting on.
Engaging with Parents on Social Media and More
To get the widest audience possible, Parenting NI used social media tools including Facebook and Twitter while internally emailing various parenting group to ensure that every important survey got out in front of as wide a range of people in Northern Ireland as it could. On occasion, they would also encourage parents to fill out a quick survey during class and one-on-one parenting sessions.
Seeing the success of survey responses, Parenting NI also used surveys within the staffing team to gain anonymous employee and volunteer feedback that ensures every participating voice is heard.
Depending on the programs and topics covered, most surveys were took an average of two to four weeks for fielding and analysis. Being able to track and view responses in real-time allowed Parenting NI to respond to changes quickly and offer insights to policy makers and stakeholders to ensure they are meeting their mission as an organization.
Higher Engagement and Impactful Results Direct From the Source
Of all the data gathered for the annual report, 12% came from focus groups and 88% came from onIine surveys. With engagement growing well over 101% from the year before, Parenting NI have been able to produce more reliable and valuable statistics that more accurately reflect the realities of parenting in Northern Ireland. This, in turn, has allowed their organization to tailor the services provided in order to better support all parents that reach out to Parenting NI.
Parental views and feedback were gathered survey were sought on the following topics:
- CCEA – Changes to GCSE grading system in Northern Ireland
- Department of Education – Parental Involvement in Children’s Education
- Department of Health / Early Intervention
- Transformation Project – 3+ Health Review
- Safeguarding Board Northern Ireland – Draft Strategic Plan
- Department of Education – 14-19 Curriculum Strategy
By gathering data on the topics above, Parenting NI is able to ensure the views of the parents heard. This allows their organization to request the proper funding and support from policy leads and stakeholder are provided along the way. It has also made conversations with decision makers more impactful because Parenting NI no longer needs to rely on data produced from other sources. They are able to gather the results on their own and make a better case on behalf of every family they work with.
Parenting NI + QuestionPro = Partners Supporting Families in Northern Ireland
Using QuestionPro for staff has enabled Parenting NI to ensure the staff’s well-being is maintained by gaining their thoughts on topics and staffing activities, while engaging with a wider range of parents in order to provide the best parenting resources the region. We are proud to partner with Parenting NI and share their story, and look forward to continuing to support their mission of providing parents with the best resources for every family in Northern Ireland.
Read Parenting NI’s annual 2017/18 report here.