Caring resources and information for parents

Mother and son

Having a child diagnosed with cancer will affect you and the people close to you. Understandably, you will feel worried and stressed as you come to terms with the diagnosis and what it means for your child and your family.

Read more about children's cancers and supports available.

There are many people who can help you deal with any difficult feelings and emotions, and also with practical issues. The staff at the hospital, including medical social workers and specialist nurses and doctors, are there to help you at this time.

The team may direct you to counselling services, complementary therapies and parent peer-to-peer support at your local cancer support centre.

It may be helpful to order a copy of our booklet Children and Young People with Cancer: A guide for parents which has lots of information and advice on coping with a child’s cancer, the impact of a diagnosis, looking after yourself and practical support.

Call the Irish Cancer Society Cancer Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700 to order a copy or you can download it below:

Children and young people with cancer booklet
Children and Young People with Cancer – A Guide for Parents
This booklet is written for parents whose child has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Irish Cancer Society also works with cancer support groups and centres across the country to ensure people affected by cancer, including parents of children diagnosed with cancer, have access to confidential support, including professional counselling. 

Our parent peer supporters are trained to provide emotional and practical support to you while your child is going through or has finished treatment. For more information, call our Support Line or see our online directory for your local cancer support centre.

Patient travel and financial support services for children with cancer

The Irish Cancer Society provides practical and financial support for patients in need, who are undergoing cancer treatments. There are two funds available to children through the Society:


Travel2Care is a fund, made available by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), for patients who are having difficulty getting to and from their treatments while attending one of the designated centres of excellence or their satellites.

The medical social worker in your child’s hospital will apply on behalf of your family, if eligible.

Children’s Fund 

Our Children’s Fund is a special fund to help families in financial hardship when their child is faced with a cancer diagnosis. The fund is for families who cannot meet a specific financial burden only because of their child’s cancer diagnosis or treatment. This includes children who are having active treatment or receiving palliative care.

You can make three applications over the course of your child’s treatment, with a 12-month interval between each application. The most that can be paid out is €1000 for the first application and €500 each for a second and third application.

There is no automatic entitlement and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. As with the Travel2Care, the medical social worker in your child’s hospital will apply on your behalf.

Children’s cancer organisations and support groups for parents

There are organisations and groups that can give you information and support if you’re caring for a child with cancer. 

Some parents find it helps them to meet other people with similar fears and worries to share information and advice, and support each other. There may be support groups for particular cancer types, for parents, or groups at your local cancer support centre. See the list below for contact details for some:

Useful organisations and websites

Childhood Cancer Foundation 

Ireland's national independent body for childhood cancer. It raises awareness about childhood cancer, advocates for improved services and funds vital supports for affected families. 


Aoibheann’s Pink Tie 

A registered charity that provides practical assistance and support for families in need who have a child with cancer. It takes referrals through St John’s Ward at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin. 

Tel: 01 240 1332 


A specially designed camp for children with serious illnesses and their families. 

Tel: 045 864 115 

Bubblegum Club 

A club that provides outings for children who have a life-threatening or long-term illness, or are disadvantaged in some other way. 

Tel: 01 236 0456/086 262 8888 


A nationwide professional medical transport service for long-term sick and seriously disabled children. It transports children in a fun environment from home to their treatment centres. 

Tel: 083 00 44 444 

CanTeen Ireland 

A nationwide support group for young people who have or had cancer, and also for their siblings and friends. 

Tel: 01 872 2012 

Children in Hospital Ireland 

An organisation that works directly with children in hospitals to help them cope with illness and being in hospital. It also provides ongoing support to their families. 

Tel: 01 290 3510 
LoCall 1890 25 26 82 

Children’s Leukaemia Association 

An association that supports and assists families of children with leukaemia in the Munster region.
Tel: 021 494 9801

Cliona’s Foundation 

A registered charity that provides financial help for hidden costs in caring for critically ill children in Ireland. 

Tel: 061-331333/1800 90 10 90 

Hand in Hand 

A national support service that provides practical support for families of children with cancer. 

Tel: 091 880 360/087 660 0103 

Julie Wren Trust 

A trust that provides complementary therapies for children with cancer at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin. It also provides funding for palliative care for children at home or in hospital. 

Tel: 01 409 6300/087 968 7469 

Make-A-Wish Ireland 

This organisation grants the wishes of children aged between 3 and 17 living with life-threatening medical conditions to bring hope, strength and joy. It is an affiliate of the International Make-A-Wish family. 

Tel: 01 205 2007 

Ronald McDonald House 

An international charity that provides accommodation in a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill in hospital or undergoing treatment at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin. 

Tel: 01 456 0435 

The Gavin Glynn Foundation

A registered charity that provides a travel assistance programme that assists families with transportation, accommodation, food and living expenses and a travel pack when travelling abroad for cancer treatment.

Tel: 01 201 6030
Email: i

Useful websites

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation 

US children’s charity that provides useful resources.

Beads of Courage 

Provides arts-in-medicine supportive care programmes for children coping with serious illness, their families, and carers.

Children’s Oncology Group (COG) 

Based in the US, the world’s largest organisation for childhood and adolescent cancer research. 

CLIC Sargent  

UK charity for children with cancer that publishes a wide range of books, including storybooks.

Jigsaw (formerly Headstrong) 

An Irish charity that focuses on youth mental health. Its programme gives young people somewhere to turn to and someone to talk to when in need. 

Websites that contain information about cancer, and have video and audioclips of people talking about their experiences.


Medical information for kids and teens with clear explanations of different conditions, including leukaemia. 

For children and teenagers coping with stress, anxiety, bullying, suicide, depression, and other mental health and wellbeing issues. 

Irish website with information and support for young people with longterm illnesses moving from child to adult health services.

Stupid Cancer 

Global support community for young adults with cancer.

Teenage Cancer Trust 

UK Cancer information and support forum for teenagers with cancer.

TYAC (Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer) 

Information and support for teenagers and young adults with cancer.

The Little Princess Trust 

A charity which funds real hair wigs for children. 


Practical and financial information

Citizens Information 

Statutory body provides comprehensive information on public services and on the entitlements of citizens in Ireland.

Tel: 0761 07 4000 

Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) 

This is a free and confidential service for people who are having problems with money management and debt. 

Helpline: 0761 07 2000 

Useful contacts outside Republic of Ireland

Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) 

A leading children’s charity in the UK and Ireland’s professional association for those involved in the treatment and care of children with cancer. The CCLG produces a wide range of publications – books, booklets and factsheets – based around many aspects of children’s cancer.

Tel: 0044 116 252 5858 

Daisy Lodge 

A purpose-built therapeutic centre for children aged 0‒24 diagnosed with cancer and their families. Based in Newcastle, Co Down, it is operated by the Cancer Fund for Children. Open to children and their families from the Republic of Ireland. 

Tel: 048 4372 4212 

Lymphoma Association (UK) 

A UK charity that provides in-depth information on lymphoma.

Helpline: 0044 808 808 5555 

Macmillan Cancer Support (UK) 

A UK charity that provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.

Tel: 0044 20 7840 7840 

National Cancer Institute (US) 

Co-ordinates the national cancer programme in the US.

Neuroblastoma UK (formerly Neuroblastoma Society) 

A small UK charity dedicated to finding a cure for neuroblastoma. 

Tel: 0044 20 3096 7890 

Sarcoma UK 

UK charity that funds vital research and offers support for anyone affected by sarcoma.

Tel: 0044 808 801 0401 

Bloodwise (formerly Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research) 

Blood cancer research charity in the UK.

Tel: 0044 20 7504 2200 

For more information

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1800 200 700

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