Rainbows Ireland is a peer-support programme designed to assist children and young people experiencing a significant loss in their lives through a death, separation or divorce in their family. Founded in Chicago, USA in 1983, Rainbows was established in Ireland in 1988. Today Rainbows operates in all thirty two counties of Ireland. Locally, the programme is offered to the people of East Limerick by Hospital Family Resource Centre.

Rainbows helps by providing a safe setting in which children  and young people can share their feelings, emotions and struggles with others who have similar experiences. They are supported in this process by a trained facilitator.

When a change takes place in the family, whether it is a death, divorce or separation, it has a profound effect on all the members of the family. Rainbows was developed to provide children and young people an opportunity for support after their painful loss.

Since it is necessary for emotional healing to take place after a significant loss the purpose of the support groups is to provide those grieving an opportunity to share their feelings in an accepting environment, supported by trained, caring and compassionate adults.

The programme is presented as a series of 9 weekly themes.  Each week, the themes are developed in a way appropriate to the age of the participants. The themes are:

Bereavement Programme

1 – About Me: Settling into group

2 – Feelings

3 – Someone has died

4 – Memories

5+6 – Big Feelings

7+8 – Coping

9 – Closing

Separation programme

1 – About Me: settling into group

2 – Feelings

3 – Family

4 – Changing and Adapting

5+6 – Big Feelings

7+8 – Coping/Support

9 – Closing


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


Rainbows Ireland works to enable children and young people who have experienced a significant loss to access peer support.  This support happens within their local communities as they seek to come to terms with their grief and loss.


We aim to fulfil our mission by establishing, maintaining and supporting a national network of accredited Programme Centres, where trained facilitators are recruited by each Programme Centre Management Body to guide participants through the various Rainbows peer support group based programmes.

Equality Statement

The service respects and values the diversity of all children and families. The Rainbows service is committed to maintaining a service that does not discriminate, directly or indirectly on the grounds of gender, gender identity, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, political opinion, disability, age, race or ethnic origin. The service recognises that all children and young people, regardless of their circumstances, have a right to have their grief and loss recognised and to be given opportunities to express their feelings and emotions.

Further Information

If you would like further information on the programme you can visit the Rainbows Website or contact us at the centre by emailing Info@hospitalfrc.com or on 061 383884.

Visit Rainbows

Booking Enquiry Form

If you would like to make an enquiry about an upcoming event, please fill out the form below. Please ensure you specify which event or programme you are interested in.

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