COVID19 Information and Updates for Parents and Services

COVID19 Information and Updates for Parents and Services

Our information service remains fully operational 

Our information service remains open but as a response to COVID-19 recommendations to the public, we have suspended our drop-in service. For now and until further notice if you have any queries, call our confidential helpline on 01 6700120, email us at, or log your query on our website here to request a callback, or you can still message us through our Facebook or Twitter accounts. 

Our opening hours are:

Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm

COVID19 Vaccine – Information for UNDOCUMENTED People in Ireland

It has been confirmed that undocumented people (those without a legal residency status) who are living in Ireland can get the Covid-19 vaccine safely and do not need a PPS number.

The Minister for Justice confirmed that no information gathered as part of that process will be passed to the immigration authorities.


See infographic below for further information.

At the moment, priority is ONLY given by age. The priority group right now is those aged 65 and over.

If you are in a priority group due to your age you should register with the HSE.

How to register for your vaccine:


If you don’t have a PPS number:

  • You should register by phone via HSELive on 1850 24 1850

If you have a PPS number:

When you are called to receive the vaccine you will need photo ID and some proof of address.

If you have any underlying medical condition you should register with your local GP or a special social inclusion health clinic.

Contact MRCI if you have any queries by emailing or replying to this email.


Our Covid-19 information page contains information regarding social protection, family law and the court service, domestic violence services, birth registration, useful resources for parents, and updates about our service.

We will update this page with relevant information on an ongoing basis.

Stay safe, be well.

Supporting One Parent Families During and After COVID-19

Many lone parents have faced increased difficulties since the onset of COVID19 restrictions. Loss of employment, loss of educational opportunities, increased housing difficulties, food poverty and loss of childcare places. In supporting lone parents,
Treoir has participated, along with many other organisations working with lone parent families, in the joint submission to the Special Committee on COVID19 Response. 


COVID19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be extended until April 2021

The Department of Social Protection has announced the extension of the PUP payment until the end of April 2021 for those who cannot return to work. See HERE for further details.


Department of Social Protection and Employment Affairs has released an important update for those in receipt of Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

DEASP is asking that those in receipt of CPUP must reconfirm their eligibility by the 13th of July.

From Monday the 29th, instead of one single flat rate of €350, the payment will now be made at two different rates;

  • Those who were earning €200 per week (gross) or more, will continue to receive €350 per week;
  • Those who were earning €199.99 per week (gross), the rate will be reduced to €203 per week.

The INOU has a good summary of the changes:

Covid-19 and Rent Supplements

The legislation was introduced to prevent both the termination of residential tenancies and any rent increases for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While tenants are expected to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rent Supplement is available to you if you are struggling to pay.

There are new Rent Supplement rules for applicants who apply on or after 13 March 2020. These rules will be in place until 31 August 2020:

  • You can qualify for Rent Supplement if you or your partner are working more than 30 hours per week and you have had a reduction in your income from work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • You must have been in your current tenancy for more than 4 weeks and could have continued to pay your rent from your own resources, but for the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 and are medically required to self-isolate, your Rent Supplement can be processed and paid immediately.
  • You will be assessed for Rent Supplement using a higher Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate – see here.

Treoir Call on ‘An Post’ to accommodate Lone Parents

In a bid to follow social distancing guidelines, An Post asked customers to refrain from bringing their children to post offices. Treoir quickly responded by highlighting how lone parents would need to bring their children along as some parents often don’t have anyone to care for their children while carrying out day-to-day tasks, particularly when adhering to such social distancing. We wrote a letter to An Post, who has since responded by apologizing for any confusion caused and clarified that An Post welcomes parents who have no option but to bring their children along.

You can read our letter to An Post here.

Fuel Allowance to be extended 4 Weeks

Due to additional financial pressures due to the Coronavirus, DEASP has extended Fuel Allowance by an additional 4 weeks. Persons in receipt of the payment will be paid automatically.

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection COVID-19 Payments Update

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has today published an updated information notice for employers and employees, including Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs) on its website.

This document provides basic information in respect of the income supports now available from the department together with answers to the most commonly asked questions.

You can read the notice here.

30,000 COVID-19 Related Payments not processed due to invalid or incorrect information on applications

This week, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection paid 283,000 people a weekly COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. This represented almost 90% of applications the department received for this emergency payment.

However, approximately 30,000 customers who applied for a COVID-19 unemployment payment before Thursday 26 March did not receive a payment on Tuesday. Non-payment may arise for one of two reasons, either because the person applying was ineligible or their application contained incorrect information.

The Department has now issued an information update highlighting ineligible application which will hopefully help people in the application process so that simple mistakes are not made going forward.

You can read the information notice here.

New Social Welfare Provisions are in place to support new jobseekers

The Department of Employment and Social Protection has issued an emergency payment called COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT PANDEMIC PAYMENT (CPUP) for those who are unemployed during this time due to closures. This payment is €350 per week – you can find updates from and other information from their updates here.

Your employer may be able to continue to pay you under the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and if so, you do not need to apply for a social welfare payment.

For those of you who received CPUP emergency payment at €350 you do not need to reapply, the increase will be paid to you automatically.

For those who cannot access this payment you may be entitled to supplementary benefit – call your local Intreo office for further information. You can find your local Intreo Officer location using this link.

If your working hours are reduced to 3 days or less per week you should apply for Short Time Work Support which is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance and Illness Benefit

The rules and conditions for Illness Benefit and Supplementary Welfare Allowance have been altered due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The changes mean that if you have COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate, you can get income support.

The changes are: (taken from

  • You do not have to wait 6 days before you can apply for Illness Benefit. This means Illness Benefit can cover the first week of a COVID-19 diagnosis (or medically-required self-isolation) and any subsequent weeks.
  • The personal rate of Illness Benefit for people affected by COVID-19 has increased to €350 per week. It will be paid for a maximum of 2 weeks where a person is self-isolating and for a maximum of 10 weeks if a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If you have been certified for less than 10 weeks, you will be paid for the duration of your certificate.
  • The normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be waived or the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be removed, if you are medically required to self-isolate or diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Government has also stated that self-employed people will be able to get either Illness Benefit or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

The DEASP has provided information about how to apply for Illness Benefit if you are affected by COVID-19.

If you work in the civil and public sector, you do not need to apply for enhanced Illness Benefit as separate leave arrangements are in place.

Read more about Illness Benefit and Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

Quick and Easy way to apply for Social Welfare Supports

MyWelfare: Quick and Easy Online Application Process for Everyone, as follows:

The Department’s online portal  is by far the easiest and quickest way for all customers to apply. All a customer needs is their email address, PPSN, and bank account details.

Now on  all customers can:

  • Apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment;
  • Apply for Enhanced Illness Benefit for Covid-19 including for self-isolation cases;
  • Apply for a jobseeker’s payment; and
  • Request to close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

 All that is required is for the individual to have an email address, a bank account, and a PPSN. Simply go onto the Covid-19 Services section of the website and apply for the payment.

 Setting up an account is required but the Department informs us it is a simple and straight forward process.

 This online channel enables the Department to quickly process applications while being convenient, safe, and easy for individuals to use.

Post Offices allowing people to nominate persons to collect welfare payments

Post Offices are also implementing the extension of the ‘Temporary Agent’ facility for customers whereby you can nominate someone to collect your payment for you. Download the appointment of the temporary agent application form here.

DEASP Income Support Helpline for COVID-19

This helpline provides information on available income supports for people impacted by COVID-19. Our information team can advise on the most suitable income supports for your circumstances and provide information on how to make an application.
Phone: 01 248 1398,  1890 800024
Note -: The rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary.
Visit for more information

Department of Employment and Social Protection to issue Double-week 23rd/30th March

The Department of Employment and Social Protection will issue a double-week to all in receipt of social welfare payments next week. This is to facilitate those who may need to self-isolate. those receiving payments through their bank accounts will also receive double payments. You will find more information here.

NOTE: Persons not in receipt of any payment on the week of 23rd March will receive their double-week on the week of 30th March.

Lone Parents in receipt of Working Family Payment & One-Parent Family Payment

If you were working and were also in receipt of any social welfare payment such as a Carer’s Payment, Working Family Payment (WFP) or One-Parent Family Payment, you can, provided you have lost your job due to COVID-19, also claim the COVID-19 emergency payment, in addition to retaining your existing welfare payment. The COVID-19 Payment Unemployment Payment will replace your employment income and will be regarded by the department as equivalent to employment income.

You can find your local Intreo Officer location using this link

You can find updates from and other information from their updates here.

Support Bubbles and Access and Custody

Information on ‘Support Bubbles’ and Access and Custody Arrangements – From

Support Bubbles:

The most recent restrictions which commenced on October 22nd 2020 allow people in certain situations to form a support bubble with one other household to help with isolation. You can form a support bubble if you are living alone with children under the age of 18 or if you don’t live with your children but you share parenting or custody arrangements. Our current understanding is that access visits are separate to support bubbles and you can form a support bubble with another household in addition to facilitating access. Further information please see:

Who can form a support bubble?

You can form a support bubble with another household:

  • if you are living alone with children under the age of 18
  • if you live alone
  • if you share parenting or custody arrangements
  • if you live with an adult you provide care for (for example a dependent adult relation or a partner with dementia)
  • if you live by yourself and have a carer or carers who support you, including a live-in carer

On 22nd October regulations in relation to COVID-19 travel which apply until 1st December 2020 has provided exemptions for people involved in travelling for access visits.

The relevant section and wording are here:

Regulations entitled Health Act 1947 (Section 3IA – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.8) Regulations 2020

5 (1) Subject to paragraph (2), an applicable person shall not travel from his or her county of residence to another county or to a state other than the State without reasonable excuse.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of what constitutes a reasonable excuse for the purposes of paragraph (1), a reasonable excuse for travelling includes travelling in order to:

(n) if the applicable person is a parent or guardian of a child, or a

person having a right of access to a child, give effect to

arrangements for access to the child by –

(i) the applicable person, or

(ii) another person who is –

(I) a parent or guardian of the child, or

(II) a person having a right of access to the child

The regulations also provide for a person who needs to fulfil legal obligations, where required:

(l) fulfil a legal obligation (including attending court, satisfying bail conditions, or participating in ongoing legal proceedings), attend a court office where required, initiate emergency legal proceedings or execute essential legal documents

The definition of a ‘household’ in the regulations in relation to attending events is outlined below:

6 (3) (c) where the event is attended by –

(i) a child, and

(ii) a parent or guardian of such child, who does not ordinarily reside with that child,

the parent or guardian, as the case may be, and the child shall be deemed to reside in the same household.

You can access the full regulations here and updates to legislation can be found here as changes are announced. If you are worried about travelling for access under the current restrictions then you might want to save this information to your phone or print out the regulations to have with you in case you meet a Garda checkpoint.

 Stay safe, be well!

Access During COVID19 Guidelines 

The Family and Child Law Society and have both issued guidelines for parents who have child Access arrangements in place during COVID19 restrictions. 

You can download and print off these useful documents below to carry with you when travelling for access purposes. It is advisable to carry your court order for access, or a letter signed by both parents which outlines and informal access agreements. 

Information from the Law Society

Information from travel restriction legislation – enabling parents to travel for access purposes

Information on Support Bubbles 

If you have any other queries, call us on our confidential helpline at 01 6700120 or complete a Callback Request form here and an information officer will call you back at a convenient time.

Stay safe, stay in your bubble!

Family and Child Law Guidelines during COVID19

-updated October 2020

The Family and Child Law Committee of the Law Society issued guidelines in March 2020 to assist
practitioners and parents during Covid-19.

You can view guidelines HERE

Courts have released a useful information video on changes to the court service

The Courts Service has released a useful video on applying to the courts, who should attend court and what to expect at court while working safely protocols are in place.
View the video here.
Stay safe, hold firm.

Court Applications Process during Covid-19

District Courts have begun the process of hearing cases regarding breaches of access/custody, maintenance, and temporary guardianship applications.

To apply, applicants should contact their district court about making an application. Different courts have implemented various ways in which applications can be made, e.g – emailing the court to book an appointment or appointments made over the phone.

The courts are experiencing an influx of applications and are seeking ways to manage that influx. Applicants may be asked a variety of questions relating to their applications when they make initial contact with the courts.

At the moment, no new applications are being processed ie. new access/custody and/or maintenance order applications.  However, if parents can agree on arrangements for access/custody and/or maintenance through Mediation, some courts will process agreements as a ‘Rule of Court’. If parents have been through mediation, they should request that their agreement is made ‘Rule of Court’. A ‘Rule of Court’ makes written agreements legally binding, making them as enforceable as any court order.

Domestic abuse applications are being given emergency status and applications can be made in person at your district court.

Treoir will issue any more updates as they become available. For further information call 01 6700120, email or message us on

Court Announcements – District courts to hear access/custody and maintenance cases

Chief Justice and Court Presidents have issued announcements regarding the gradual opening of courts over the coming months.

You can read full announcements here including access to statements by Justice and Presidents of each court.

Family Law Cases

In terms of family law, read the summary below:

Summary of the announcement by President of District Court – H. Judge Colin Daly

The President of the District Court, his Honour Judge Colin Daly, has announced that:

1. Parties with non-urgent cases are not required to attend court at this time.

2. The District Court will continue to hear urgent matters in all District Court Districts throughout the country as before and will resume hearings of certain other urgent matters.

3. Urgent matters are now extended to include more areas in Criminal, Family, and Child Care Law.

In the area of Family Law the President announced changes for matters which can be dealt with include;

New applications for protection orders or interim barring orders and return hearings of interim barring order cases.

If safety order hearings are being adjourned interim protection orders will be extended to the new date.

Applications and hearings for breach of maintenance or access that have occurred during the emergency period or applications and hearings for temporary guardianship orders.

Remote call-overs and hearings may be conducted in some courts.

Consent orders that do not require the hearing of evidence may be applied for by email by the applicant’s solicitor exhibiting consent in writing from the respondent’s solicitor. Following consideration by an assigned Judge orders will issue from the Court Office as appropriate without the need for the parties or their legal representatives to attend court.

Breach of Access and Child Maintenance to be heard as urgent cases by District Courts

President of the District Courts, H. Judge Colin Daly, will tomorrow announce the resuming of Family Law cases concerning the breaching of access and child maintenance. Such cases will be heard as a matter of urgency.

This comes as organisations have raised concerns about breaches of access and maintenance since the beginning of this coronavirus public health emergency. Speaking to RTE this morning Treoir CEO Damien Peelo said:

Since the Covid-19 restrictions came into place, the phones have been constantly ringing.

CEO Damien Peelo said they’ve “had all sorts of calls” to the information service looking for guidance on what to do.

“We’ve had issues where children have gone on their court order access or custody visit and parents have held on to the child but because they’ve said they’ve to cocoon due to suspected coronavirus for 14 days the mother couldn’t come and collect the child”.

Treoir welcomes this decision as many parents have experienced huge challenges in their parenting during this pandemic with children feeling the biggest impact.

Read the feature article here.

Community Law & Mediation Services Available by Phone

Do you need Legal Advice?
Community Law & Mediation`s FREE LEGAL ADVICE CLINICS by phone continue, in the areas of social welfare, housing, debt, and employment.

General queries also welcome.

To book a phone consultation, please contact: 01 847 7804 or 061 536 100

In partnership with Inclusion Ireland, we are running a new free legal advice clinic on disability issues related to children.

Appointments can be booked by contacting 01 855 9891 or emailing

Covid-19 Advice & Resources
We have created a Covid-19 Advice Resources Page which can be accessed on our website and at this link:

  • Here you will find information on:
  • How to access our free legal advice clinics
  • Your Queries, Our Advice – examples of some of the questions we have received in our clinics and the advice we have provided
  • How to access further updates and other useful links

Visit community law and mediation here.

Guidelines for Access during COVID-19

NOTE: If you require Family Mediation Services call this dedicated helpline during Covid19 Restrictions, call 087 136 3600

Guidelines have been issued to assist parents and practitioners concerning access during restrictions brought in to tackle Covid-19.

These guidelines reflect the position of the Department of Justice and Equality, issued by Minister Charlie Flanagan yesterday, and endorse the practice direction of the President of the District Court, last week.

You can read the guidelines here.

Also, Section 4.2 of the new legislation on restrictions of movement of applicable persons specifically addresses access arrangements.  These directions are listed below:

(n) if the applicable person is a parent or guardian of a child or

the person having a right of access to a child, give effect to

arrangements for access to the child by –

(i) the applicable person, or

(ii) another person who is –

(I) a parent or guardian of the child, or

(II) a person having a right of access to the child

We hope this serves as a helpful set of guidelines and factual information in terms of concerns around access arrangements.

Frank Murphy of the Ballymun Community Law Center talks offers guidelines around access and custody

Frank Murphy of the Ballymun Community Law Center wrote a paper/article on access and custody during Covid19. Frank talks about ‘the best interests of the child’ and the ‘practicalities of family law’ while offering guidelines developed by law practitioners around challenges in meeting and reviewing access arrangements during Covid19 restrictions. You can read Frank’s article at the link here.

NOTE: If you require Family Mediation Services call this dedicated helpline during Covid19 Restrictions, call 087 136 3600

President of District Court Services – Family Law Statement

Judge Colin Daly, President of the District Court issues Family Law statement.

Due to COVID-19 Public Health measures, District Courts are operating on skeleton staff, however, Domestic Violence cases will be heard on an emergency basis. The Courts urge parents who are experiencing challenges over access to continue access agreements where possible, or if there is a genuine health reason, try to find alternative ways to keep both parents in touch with their child. Where new arrangements need to be agreed and there is a Court Order in place, parents are free to do so, but this should be done fairly.

Family mediation helpline is available to aid parents who find themselves in conflict over access or maintenance at this time, and Treoir is also here to support parents as well as other services listed in the below statement.

As mentioned, only Domestic Violence cases are being heard, but if a good case can be made, access/custody may be heard.

Read the statement here.

The Law Society of Ireland has also issued a statement in relation to guidance around Access and Maintenance of children, you can read that statement below –

Family and Child Law Committee guidelines during Covid-19

NOTE: If you require Family Mediation Services call this dedicated helpline during Covid19 Restrictions, call 087 136 3600

Temporary Guardianship

Given the reality of COVID-19, you might want to name a Temporary Guardian if you are hospitalised due to being treated for the virus.

A qualifying guardian* may nominate a person (nomination form) to act as a guardian if he/she is unable, through serious illness or injury, to exercise his/her guardianship rights.  The nomination must be made in writing and can specify the rights and responsibilities that the nominated person can exercise.  The nominated person must then apply to the court for guardianship rights when and if necessary.  Each guardian, parent, and TUSLA the Child and Family Agency will be informed of such an application.  The decision of the court will be made in the best interests of the child and may take the views of the child into account where possible given the child’s age and understanding.

*A qualifying guardian, in relation to a child, means a person who is a guardian of that child and who:

  • is the parent of the child and has custody of him/her, or
  • is not being the parent of the child, has custody of him or her to the exclusion of any living parent of the child.

The courts are not currently dealing with general case hearings, however, in the event of an emergency, a nominated Temporary Guardian may be able to apply to the Courts to gain limited Temporary Guardianship rights.

District Courts to Close – only emergency domestic violence cases to be heard

In the interest of public safety only hearings involving emergency domestic violence applications will be dealt with until further notice, and all other matters are to be adjourned.
Parties will receive written notice of their adjournment court date following the hearing.

NOTE: If you require Family Mediation Services call this dedicated helpline during Covid19 Restrictions, call 087 136 3600


Women’s Aid Service Temporarily Closed in Dolphin House

Women’s Aid Dolphin House Supports and Coronavirus/Covid19

Drop In Service has been temporarily suspended. Women’s Aid Support for women applying for domestic violence orders are continuing by phone on 089 221 4636 Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Treoir supports #Stillhere campaign in raising awareness of Domestic and Sexual Violence services

Domestic and sexual violence services have seen an increased need for services for those experiencing abuse in the home. This increase is largely due to Covid-19 restrictions, as some parents and children face additional challenges in fleeing risk in the home. The Department has stated:  “Restrictions on movement do not apply to a person escaping from a risk of harm or seeking to access essential services.  In other words, the 2km rule will not apply to you.” Treoir supports the increase and adaption of state and voluntary supports services in their efforts to support sufferers of all forms of abuse through the #stillhere campaign launched by the Department of Justice and Equality today, 17 April 2020.

From the Department of Justice and Equality:

“The Department of Justice and Equality have launched a  STILL HERE Campaign for people who are suffering Domestic Abuse at this time.

We have all been asked to stay at home in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but for those who experience domestic abuse, the home may not be the safest option.

We also know that stress can increase the chance of violence in homes when there is a history of domestic abuse.

It is important that you know you are not alone – domestic and sexual violence support services from State agencies and the voluntary sector have been adapted and increased to ensure they remain available to support you, even during the restrictions which are now in place due to Covid-19.

Restrictions on movement do not apply to a person escaping from a risk of harm or seeking to access essential services.  In other words, the 2km rule will not apply to you.”

Visit or, if you are in danger, call 999/112.

NOTE: If you require Family Mediation Services call this dedicated helpline during Covid19 Restrictions, call 087 136 3600

Domestic and Sexual Violence Support Services

It is important to note that where a person needs to flee from potential risks in the home travel restrictions do not apply, you are free to travel in order to make yourself safe and to avail of supports.

It is also important to note that although District Courts are largely closed due to limited services and staffing, the courts are still dealing with Emergency cases such as Domestic Violence. You can apply to the court for safety and barring orders. Call your local district court for guidance. You can find your local district court here.

Below is a list of some support services available both locally and nationwide.


Women’s Aid, Safe Ireland and Male Advice Line

Sonas Freedom From Domestic Violence

Men’s Aid Ireland (Formerly know as AMEN and AnyMan)


Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service

Laois Domestic Abuse Service

Tearmann Domestic Abuse Service

Mna Feasa Cork City

Women’s Aid Dundalk

ADAPT Domestic Abuse Service

President of District Court Hon. Colin Daly Statement Regarding Access during COVID19 Lockdown – February 2021

District Court – Family Law matters – Statement of the President of the District Court
Friday 08th January

Statement from His Honour Colin Daly, President of the District Court
Family Law Matters.
Court Information and Supports Available

8th January, 2021.

As we return to enhanced Level 5 Restrictions some parents whose children are the subject of Access Orders of the District Court may be concerned that they cannot fulfil the terms of these orders safely.

This short advice is in general terms as each family’s circumstances are different.

I would like to remind parents once again how important access with their other parent is to your children.

Access ordered by the District Court must be facilitated wherever possible and unless it causes a real and substantial risk to a child’s health or safety or that of another family member.  Ensure that access continues wherever possible and that court orders are followed. Remember there may be serious consequences if a parent is found not to be supporting access as ordered with the other parent.

Even where there is an Access Order of the District Court, parents are responsible for making decisions regarding the safety of their children. You are expected to make sensible and reasonable decisions for your child’s safety and to communicate with each other respectfully when negotiating how to make decisions for your child’s safety. Sensible and reasonable decisions around your child’s safety will reflect current public health advice, so use this as a common basis for your communication and decision making.

It is important to remember that travel restrictions do not apply to access visits, this is not a reason to stop access over this period of greater restriction. Also remember too that travel for children between households can mean greater risk to the child or to other vulnerable family members and this should form part of your decision making.

Discuss with each other what the new and increased level of restrictions will mean for you and your children over the coming weeks. Wherever possible please take a common approach between your two households to public health guidelines to make lives easier and safer for your children and your families. One set of safety ‘rules’ will be much easier for your child to remember.

If it is not safe to continue access as ordered, then try to agree what access can happen safely. If you can both agree an alternative, then it is ok to do this until the level of restrictions falls back again when access as ordered should resume. Keep a note of your agreement in writing, in an email or by text. If you are worried that any changes you may agree now might continue past the end of these restrictions, then consider putting a clear end date or review date, in line with expected lifting of restrictions, into the temporary alternative arrangements. Temporary changes made for safety reasons should revert to the original order as soon as it is safe to do so, as that is the level of access the court has decided is right for your children.

If it is not possible to follow the court order safely remember there are many ways to keep in contact especially through phone calls and video chats, but keep in mind that children may have a short attention span for these activities and these are only a substitute for face to face contact.

It is not always possible for people to make these changes without help. The Legal Aid Board’s family mediation services remain open and are free, with no payment required. Mediation services are being provided through a blend of office, online and phone based mediation. Mediation can help resolve issues with parenting plans, access and maintenance. For more information of  services in your area go to For Dublin, email: or Phone: (01) 672 5886.  

If you cannot agree an alternative or come to a solution, you can make an application to your local court office for a court hearing to vary or change the access order.

Other supports and services

Some other free parent support services that may be able to help and advise you are:

Contact information for some other supports and services that you may find useful are:


Treoir’s Sam Dunne speaks to Liadan Hynes about challenges for lone parents during Covid19 on ‘How to fall apart’ Support series sponsored by Dunnes Stores

This week’s episode of How to Fall Apart, the Support Series, sponsored by Dunnes Stores is about single parents. Guests spoke about how to manage the issues facing single parents including loneliness, financial fears, and co-parenting challenges, and also how single parents might be in some ways uniquely equipped to deal with certain aspects of social isolation. @liadanhynes spoke to Zoe Desmond, founder of @FroloApp Karen Kiernan of @1familyieland, clinical psychologist Rachel Warman, herself a single parent, and @Treoir’s Sam Dunne who talks about issues facing lone parents, how she is overcoming some of those challenges as a parent sharing parenting with her ex-partner and how single parents are resilient towards many challenges lone parents face daily.

You can listen to Howtofallapart podcast here

Shared parenting – Access and Custody Arrangements

Guidelines have been issued to assist parents and practitioners in relation to access during restrictions brought in to tackle Covid-19.

These guidelines reflect the position of the Department of Justice and Equality, issued by Minister Charlie Flanagan yesterday, and endorse the practice direction of the President of the District Court, last week.

You can read the guidelines here.

During COVID-19 school closures we understand that parenting may be challenging for parents who are not living together and may be difficult for lone parents in particular. For parents who are sharing parenting, through access arrangements we understand that difficulties may arise if parents need to review access arrangements either to increase access hours to share parenting during school closures or where a primary parent falls ill, or limits access due to social isolation or where a parent may be high risk or contracts the virus. At such times it is important that parents communicate well, understand each other’s anxieties, support each other in their parenting, and put your children first as they may very well feel anxious themselves. Here are some guidelines to help you if you feel you have concerns with making access with your child:

  • Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19?
  • Do you and everyone in the home feel well?
  • Do you or anyone in your home have flu-like symptoms/temperature/shortness of breath/cough?
  • If so, have you contacted your GP by telephone for medical advice? What is the advice given by the GP?
  • Has anyone in the house traveled recently from abroad?
  • Are those present, able to perform effective hand hygiene, and carry out this task for young children?

In general, we urge parents to consider options when reviewing access arrangements while COVID-19 measures are in place. Unless there is an identified risk, access should be maintained. Parents can follow HSE guidelines above, which provides questions we have all become very familiar with over the past couple of months. The new restrictions announced last Friday 28th March have caused more confusion and worry, Treoir has been in contact with Garda HQ and Department of Justice and we have been told that these restrictions should not impact travel for access arrangements, parents can call their local Garda stations and explain their situation. The important thing is that children may be feeling anxious already, missing their family and friends, and their normal routines so major changes in access arrangements may impact children further so we urge parents to assess access appropriately and where access needs to be stopped find ways to make sure children stay in touch with the other parent.


  • If you have concerns regarding access and custody arrangements communicate them early and ahead of access times if possible, this avoids any confrontation at pick-up times where the children may overhear difficult conversations.
  • Try to understand each other’s position regarding parenting. In a lot of cases, Mothers may be parenting alone with limited access arrangements, so Fathers could try to acknowledge this extra challenge during school closures and offer to help out more if at all possible.
  • Children may be feeling very anxious about their loved ones, or themselves getting sick. The HSE and schools offer very good advice on speaking to your children about COVID-19. But for children in shared parenting families, any difficulties in sharing parenting during this time must be dealt with appropriately so as not to cause additional worry in your children.

So the message to parents is, enjoy the extra time you are getting to spend with your children, look to review access if that is what’s needed but be creative in seeking ways that your child can spend time with both parents, try to understand each other’s anxieties and additional pressures you may be feeling, communicate well while doing this and try not to raise conflict, especially when your children may be listening. If it’s a case where, for whatever reason, one parent cannot make access, then talk to your child using age-appropriate language and reassure them that this new arrangement is temporary, and try to come up with ways that your child can speak to the other parent where possible.

Note: If access is canceled, the reason for that decision should be recorded by email or text message if an access hearing ensues.

NOTE: If you require Family Mediation Services call this dedicated helpline during Covid19 Restrictions, call 087 136 3600

Birth registrations can now be made without going to your local registrar’s office

New birth registrations can now be made remotely via an online and postal service.

Applicants must complete the required registration form, and provide photo ID for the purposes of a Statutory Declaration.

Completed online registration forms and a scanned copy of photo ID can be sent via email to, or, if you print a downloaded registration form and include a copy of photo ID you can post the forms to your local Civil Registration Office (see for the contact details/address), alternatively you can or post your documents to:

The General Register Office, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon, F42 VX53.

You can find the application form HERE for download.

If you do not have access to a printer, you can email to request hard copies of the forms needed to complete birth registration remotely, however, you will need to forward a copy of the photo ID, some post offices may provide this service a small cost.

COVID19 Vaccine

Vaccines are only made available after they are proven to be safe and effective. Find out more about why vaccination is important, how it will be delivered, and the stages of delivery HERE 

#HoldFirm #COVIDVaccine

Flu Vaccine 

HSE and TUSLA have released useful information on the Flu Vaccine for parents/guardians who are thinking about the vaccine for their children. 

If you want information and the vaccine, Flu vaccine materials and links available below, in multiple languages, with videos, and updates on animations that will soon be available on and

Anxiety and Children

During these times, anxiety in children may have become a worrying issue for parents and guardians. Here is a useful resource to aid parents and guardians in helping children cope by developing skills in recognising anxiety, and ways to minimise their worries. 

A discussion about guarding your mental health during COVID19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a lot of information about the virus and its effects on mental health.

That’s because coronavirus and the social, financial and psychological implications it carries can seriously impact one’s mental wellbeing.

Government legislation, mass media coverage, and the increasing global death toll will cause a lot of stress, especially for the older population, children, and people with a history of mental health problems.

It’s of the utmost importance that we try to remain as composed as we can during this time.

The fear and anxiety that is gripping the nation are as contagious, if not more so than the illness itself.

While we are in no way diminishing the severity of the physical and epidemiological worry surrounding coronavirus, it is crucial that everyone has access to mental health resources, and is clued up on how they can look after themselves and their own mental health.

People with pre-existing mental problems should continue to manage and track their mental health. Self-care is vital, and it’s also important to try and reduce the stress for ourselves and others around us.

A Useful Resource

You can view the following guidelines around protecting your mental health here.

Stay safe, be well!


Barnardos Phase 2 of Covid-19 Roadmap Explainer for Children

Barnardos has developed a really useful infographic for children which explains phase 2 of the ‘Reopening Ireland Roadmap’. You can view it here.

New Bereavement Support line to assist staff and public during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new national freephone bereavement support line has been launched by the Irish Hospice Foundation in conjunction with the HSE. The national freephone service, 1800 80 70 77 is available Monday to Friday from 10 am to 1 pm.

The support line aims to provide a confidential space for people to speak about their experience or ask questions relating to bereavement.  Read more about the new Bereavement Support line here.

Callers will be listened to with compassion and be provided with emotional support and information on any practical issues that may be helpful.

HSE Guidelines to support parents, children, and others in coping with Covid-19

The HSE has much information to support parents, children, and others in understanding coronavirus, how to protect yourselves and others, and the importance of the #stayathome restrictions. It is important for children especially, to understand how the pandemic affects them, and it is important for parents to know how to answer any questions children may have to relieve any worries. One particular information document is the ‘Covid-19 Guide to supporting children’.You can access HSE approved guidelines here.


Parenting through Covid-19

We have all been inundated with information on Covid-19 in terms of the pandemic itself, ways to stay safe, travel restrictions, and much much more… but parenting is a challenge for everyone and is adding to anxieties. Below is a booklet with some helpful hints to keep home life happy, developed by Donegal Family Resource Center and Springboard, we do hope it’s useful.

Have fun, be safe!

Parenting during Covid-19

Talking to your children about the Coronavirus

It is important to talk to your child as they may be feeling anxious about getting ill, or their loved ones getting the virus. Here is a useful link provided by the Department of Education about talking to your children.

Bringing your child to a COVID-19 test center

Are you worried about bringing your child to COVID-19 testing centers? The HSE has provided a really useful comic strip for children who may be feeling worried about getting tested. You can download it here.

Barnardos – helping children through bereavement

Children can deal with grief and anxiety caused by this pandemic in many ways and it id difficult for parents/carers to recognise that grief and anxiety, particularly when we are all feeling anxious ourselves.

As announced last week, Barnardos Bereavement Helpline has been extended and is open as usual to parents/carers and professionals who want guidance in supporting bereaved children and young people, as well as children and young people who are dealing with a loved one being diagnosed with Covid-19 (managing anxiety; anticipatory grief), while not being able to say goodbye or not being able to attend a funeral.

Below are two useful posters and infographics that may aid parents/carers in talking to children and recognising their grief.

Finding ways to help children say goodbye to a lost loved one

Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Helpline

We hope this is useful.

Be well!

Barnardos Launched Dedicated Helpline

Barnardos have just launched a dedicated telephone and email support service to provide advice to parents on a wide range of issues that may have come up during this time. If you or someone you know needs extra parental support they are there to help.

This service will be staffed by Barnardos project workers who are trained professionals. Some issues that parents may need support on include:

  • How to talk to your children about the coronavirus
  • Setting a good routine
  • Managing children’s behaviours and sibling dynamics
  • Managing aggression and family discord
  • Homeschooling/managing school expectations.
  • Fostering natural learning opportunities in the home
  • Healthy eating
  • Accessing fun and educational activities for families and individual children
  • Managing your child’s worries
  • Self-care for parents
  • Helping parents manage their worries and anxieties
  • Managing children’s online activity

You can make contact with this service by phoning 1800 910 123 between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm Monday to Friday or by emailing

They also provide specialist services and support concerning bereavementadoption, and fostering.

Treoir calls on the Government to support Lone Parents during school closures

Treoir call on the government to support lone parents staying home to mind their children during this COVID19 pandemic. Employers should be flexible at this time and the government should seek to ensure that lone parents who are working are not put at risk of poverty, instead, they should be protected at this time if they have to stay home to mind children. Some suggestions are:

– working from home

– offering staff to pay back any time taken at a later date

– flexible working hours to suit possible alternative childcare arrangements

– paid leave


Housing, Mortgages, Rent, and Loans

Some announcements were made about measures to protect those who may have difficulty making loan, rent, and mortgage repayments. There has also been a moratorium on evictions and rent increases were announced by Minister for Housing on 19 March. You can get more information on these announcements here on the Citizens Information website.

Tenants Rights During COVID-19 Period

Emergency legislation was passed with effect from 27th March 2020 for 3 months with a possibility of extension protections for those living in private rental accommodation. Under this Act there are restrictions in place for the “Emergency Period” on landlords issuing notices of termination, increasing rents, and evicting tenants.

Read this supporting document from Mercy Law Resource Center – Know Your Rights – Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19 Act 2020)

Be safe, stay well!