Who are we and how can we help?
Northern Ireland Anti Bullying Forum (NIABF), hosted by National Children’s Bureau (NCB), was established in 2004 at the request of the Department of Education Northern Ireland. NIABF brings together 25 statutory and non-statutory organisations with the purpose of reducing bullying behaviours and creating a safer environment for children and young people at school. NIABF supports these organisations to co-ordinate their resources and approaches for maximum impact.
NIABF is funded by the Department of Education to inform, influence and support anti-bullying policy, legislation, practice and opinion, particularly in regard to school and other youth settings. We aim to equip schools and educators with effective tools and strategies to support their work on ending bullying in Northern Ireland. This year we have worked with our member organisation, the Education Authority, to produce a new resource for Parents and Carers, ‘Parent/Carer Toolkit’, and to provide some important updates to our popular ‘Effective Responses to Bullying Behaviour’ resource for schools.
The Parent/Carer Toolkit was launched during Anti–Bullying Week, November 2016 and is packed full of guidance for parents on supporting a child who is experiencing or demonstrating bullying behaviours. Parents can feel a range of emotions when they discover their child is being bullied. While initial feelings may include isolation, anger, sadness and guilt, it is important for you to remember there is a way forward. This guide contains information about spotting the signs of bullying, the action you can take, your child’s rights, strategies and tips. We hope it will give you ideas about what might work, things you could try and will help you to feel that you are not alone.
The Toolkit can help you spot the signs of bullying including becoming withdrawn, ‘losing belongings’, reluctant to go to school or youth club, changes in their mood or difficulties sleeping. You’ll also find tips on talking to your child about being bullied, building your child’s confidence and dealing with aggressive behaviours.
The Parent/ Carer Toolkit acknowledges and describes the responsibilities of schools in relation to bullying. It outlines those duties and provides a step by step guide for parents on letting the school know about your concerns and what should happen next. The ‘tips on approaching the school’ section will help you think about how best to go about this and the list of useful organisations mean further information and guidance should only be a phone call away.