Harris House

What we do

Wheel chair user and family

Barnardo’s Harris House project provides services for families who have disabled children in need of intensive support. We aim to address specific and complex issues that significantly impact upon parenting capacity. Therefore, the service provided is time-limited and focused, with an individual programme of support for each child and their family. The services provided are developed in partnership with parents, carers and the children themselves. The project aims to enable families to develop strategies for managing complex family problems, and to direct them into mainstream provision.

Services include:

  • family support
  • information and advice
  • parent education and support
  • a toy library
  • sensory room.

How the project works:

We provide family support, working in the house and in the community. The parents remain in the house with the worker until everyone is confident that the worker can manage the care of the child.

The main features of our services are:

  • we work both in the home and within the community
  • we offer one-to-one support
  • we offer sibling support. The majority of disabled children live at home with their families. Caring for a disabled child can be a heavy burden both practically and emotionally. It is not only the parents who need support but brothers and sisters too.
  • the support offered to the child, their family or carers and siblings, will best meets the needs of the individual child and their family.
  • the family support worker is a vital service that gives parents or carers a much-needed break. Perhaps a few hours to allow them to spend time with their other children. The family support worker can also help with developing good parenting skills, and offer advice and guidance.  
  • we can accompany parents or carers to appointments, helping with the other children and stimulating the disabled child in the home.

Family support


Family support workers go into the home to offer a support service to the disabled child and their parents or carers, in order to enhance the parents or carers skill and abilities, and thus improve family functioning.

Our main aims are:

  • for the parent or carer to accept and understand their child’s disability
  • to improve the relationship between parent and child
  • to enable the parent or carer to meet their child’s basic needs
  • for the parent or carer to become a more confident and relaxed parent
  • for the parent or carer to take responsibility for their child’s disability
  • to develop a good relationship between the child and parent, and the essential services, such as, school, hospital, clinic etc
  • to ensure that there is a safe home environment for the child and their family.

Parent education and support

Barnardo's Harris House project offers parenting skills programmes for individual parents and carers which enable them to support their children’s development and learning. It gives parents strategies to deal with the management of difficult behaviour and to improve their self esteem.

Toy library

Barnardo's Harris House  project has a toy library where toys can be loaned out to families.

Sensory room

The project also has a sensory room which can be booked by individuals or organisations. The sensory room is a room in which an individual’s primary senses are stimulated by a unique combination of music and lighting effects.

Disabled facilities

There are disabled parking spaces at the front of the building, as well as the large car park to the rear. The premises have been adapted to provide access for people with disabilities. A mobile hearing loop system is available.

The team

At Barnardo’s Harris House project, there is a team of qualified social workers, project workers, family support workers, volunteers and administrative support staff who work alongside the service users, as well as with the professionals involved in the children’s care.