The Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) was formed by Save the Children, at the request of the Department of Education, in August 2004 and formally launched in November 2005. The National Children’s Bureau became the hosting organisation for NIABF until its closure on 31st March 2023. The closure of the Forum was due to the end of its longstanding funding from the Department of Education.
NIABF has spearheaded anti-bullying work in Northern Ireland for over 18 years, bringing together a range of statutory and voluntary sector organisations to create joint campaigns, resources and training for young people, parents and carers, and practitioners to end bullying.
NIABF’S Proudest Achievements
We are immensely proud of the work of NIABF over the years, which includes...
Annual Anti-Bullying Week activities have involved over 90% of schools and 300,000 children and young people over the 18 years - with 87% of schools who took part in Anti-Bullying Week 2022 stating that the campaign encouraged new anti-bullying initiatives in their setting. NIABF received over 17,000 entries to the NIABF Creative Arts Competition in recent years. The campaign has provided resources, events and activities for professionals, parents & carers and children and young people.
Each year, young people and adults alike got involved to help spread awareness of bullying, highlighting the impact and promoting prevention. It has been a highly successful campaign that engaged schools, communities and workplaces.
The week included a large-scale promotional drive with educational resources being shared with every school in NI, along with council buildings and community and youth organisations. Each year NIABF held a media/social media drive that included a social media toolkit which was shared widely, and promotional posters which could be found on buses and at bus stops across Northern Ireland.
The work of NIABF contributed to the introduction and implementation of the Addressing Bullying in Schools (NI) Act 2016 and the development of new guidance, including The Effective Responses to Bullying Behaviour and resources to support pupils who experience bullying. The Forum engaged with four nations work to align and embed anti-bullying messaging across all schools through a common theme in Anti-Bullying Week.
NIABF worked tirelessly to help protect those most at risk of bullying over the years, creating guidance and resources to support targeted groups such as looked-after children, children with disabilities and LGBTQ+ young people. Most of all NCB are proud of the Forum members who have given their time and expertise during incredibly tough times for the voluntary sector. We know that bringing members together to develop a collaborative approach to anti-bullying has had a lasting impact on our young people. Members wrote key inserts for guidance, hosted workshops for practitioners, worked together on many consultation responses, shared their own anti-bullying work, and contributed to over 260 resources.
The voices of young people
NIABF has been steered by many inspiring young people through the years, all with a shared passion of tackling bullying. Not only have the developed and designed resources for children and young people and contributed to campaigns and research, they have lobbied politicians and people in power to express the seriousness of bullying in the lives of children and young people and demand change.
We are comforted to know that the Education Authority’s newly established Addressing Bullying in Schools Implementation Team (ABSIT) is in place to support schools with the implementation of the new Addressing Bullying in Schools (NI) Act 2016. If you require support from the Education Authority’s ABSIT Team you can contact them at (Grace Crilly) [email protected] or 028 38314462
Although NIABF is no longer in operation, our member organisations will continue to deliver high quality services to improve the lives of children and young people across Northern Ireland. Forum members believe there is still a need for an anti-bullying forum or network and hope to build on the work of NIABF in the future.
If you have any queries in relation to NIABF or would like to be kept informed of future anti-bullying work in Northern Ireland, please contact Aoife Nic Colaim [email protected]
(links to NIABF Videos on NCB Youtube Channel)
Signposting to further support:
Childline: 0800 1111
Parenting NI: Website & Support Line - 0808 8010 722
Cara-Friend: Website & LGBTQI+ Switchboard - 0808 8000 390
Anti-Bullying Alliance: Advice and Support