Use these buttons to quickly scroll to page sections
Can parents be charged to attend a Parents Plus Group?

Can parents be charged to attend a Parents Plus Group?

Facilitator Best Practice Question: 

“Can parents be charged to attend a Parents Plus Group? We work in a small community service and have expenses when we run the Parents Plus Groups such as venue hire, and refreshments. Do you recommend that we charge parents a small fee to cover these?”

Answer: “One of the strengths of the Parents Plus Programmes is that they are offered for free or low cost throughout the country. This reduces the barriers for parents to attend and makes the programmes more universal and accessible. Of course delivering free parenting courses requires the work to be supported by community and state services in terms of paying the salary of the professionals facilitators, the cost of the materials as well as other venue costs. When budget is an issue there a number of practical solutions that can help such as the following 1) You can consider co-running the programme with another local agency who might have a staff member available to co-facilitate and/ or access to other resources such as a free venue. 2) It is also OK to ask parents to pay a small feel to attend the group such as paying ten euro for the cost of the Parent Booklet or towards the venue hire. Sometimes asking for a small fee can increase their commitment to the course ( e.g. if they have purchased the booklet they are more likely to use the material and to attend the course) 3) You can also ask parents to contribute in kind to the group. For example, you can ask them to take turns bringing in tea/coffee and biscuits or other items. Getting them involved in supporting the group in this way can increase their commitment and ownership. 4) Parents Plus also have a sponsorship scheme for agencies ( to cover programme materials, training and supervision) who are actively delivering parenting groups in their area. Some agencies and professionals have to charge higher fees to parents to cover costs in contexts such as private practice or agencies not funded through state bodies. For private practice delivery, Parents Plus require that the facilitators are fully accredited in running the Parents Plus Programme they are delivering, that they are registered with their professional body and have independent professional insurance”.

John Sharry, CEO Parents Plus