Written on 10/26/2017

What is Rainbows ?

Rainbows is a national children’s voluntary service with an average of 6,000 children and young people coming into the service every year throughout Ireland.

The Rainbows ethos  is that the grief experienced by children and young people in Ireland, following a significant loss in their lives through bereavement, parental separation or divorce, is recognised and that they are offered the understanding and support necessary to foster emotional well-being.

Rainbows supports children and young people in groups. There are groups for children and young people who have been affected by the death of a close family member and there are groups for children and young people whose family has changed because their parents have separated or divorced.

Core Values

  • Grief and loss are normal and natural
  • Grief and loss – a personal, individual journey different for every child and young person
  • The dignity of each individual’s grief journey is at all times respected
  • Participants are not approached directly to avail of the service – the service is offered in local communities
  • Children and young people are best supported within the family. Rainbows supports families at a time of loss
  • Children and young people are active, resilient participants in their own lives
  • Grief and loss can have a profound impact
  • Grief needs to be acknowledged and supported, not denied, buried or ignored
  • The emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people is fundamental to their future mental health and well being
  • Rainbows Ireland recognises the value of group support for children and young people, providing a process of normalisation and engagement with peers in similar situations

Guiding Principals

  • Ensure that all children or young people accessing the service of the Rainbows Programme are safe and that Rainbows Will Do No Harm
  • Ensure that the needs of children or young people experiencing a significant loss through the death of someone close and/or through the impact of separation and divorce are central to all practices and procedures
  • The service is a needs led service that seeks to act as an intervention or prevention in a child or young person’s life at a time of significant loss
  • It is a Level Two service of facilitation and support offered in local communities. It is free of charge.
  • Rainbows objectives are focused on effective outcomes and impact, that is the healthy adaptation and integration of significant loss in a child or young person’s life
  • All Rainbows Programmes will be delivered as set out in policies and procedures of the Rainbows organisation, by trained Volunteers, providing a warm, welcoming, trusting environment.
  • Rainbows Ireland is committed to inclusivity, equality and operating procedures that are non-judgmental and non-directive
  • Rainbows Ireland is committed to Best Practice guidelines, policies and procedures in all aspects of service delivery benchmarked by international and national standards.
  • Rainbows Ireland has a commitment as a national voluntary organisation to deliver and sustain consistent and continuous support to children and young people experiencing significant loss through death, separation and divorce.
  • Rainbows Ireland recognises its Duty of Care and has protocols in place for the efficient and appropriate referral pathways for those who present with more specific needs, or at risk.
  • Central to the delivery of the Rainbows service is the specific boundaries of the service.
  • Rainbows Ireland is committed to continually developing and improving all aspects of service delivery and organisational practice – governance, training, continuous professional development, supervision, care, support and welfare of volunteers and staff, evaluation/measurement/monitoring, reflective practices and reviews, finance and financial recording
  • Rainbows at all times aims to be a learning organisation where people, systems and processes are continually improving to enhance the service.
  • The Rainbows organisation, recognises a collective responsibility in supporting bereaved children and young people at the various levels of the Bereavement Care Pyramid in Ireland. Rainbows Ireland is committed to collaboration and linking with peer organisations and services.