Every year, around 25,000 young people, families and individuals benefit from Extern's services across the island of Ireland through innovative projects and programmes aimed at keeping families together and helping to create safer communities.

One of our busiest areas of work is the North-West, where we provide a range of services in partnership with key agencies and funders.

Finding The Right Pathway...

The majority of our services in the North-West are accessed through what we call 'Pathway Referral'. This means that people come to us after being specifically referred here through other agencies or organisations, for example Social Services, or a UK Government programme.

By the time the person or family has arrived at our door, we have a clearer picture of their needs, as well as having the opportunity to continue the partnership approach which is so vital to our work.

Youth Support

A community-based programme offering support to young people aged 12-17 who are deemed at medium to high risk of reception into care or custody through experiencing difficulties at home, in school and/or in the community.

Referral Pathway: via Social Services

Tel: +44 (0)28 7126 2104 Email: [email protected] 

Homes for Ukraine

A Government scheme, developed in 2022, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Extern is one of the delivery partners responsible for screening potential ‘hosts’, who will offer accommodation to individuals fleeing conflict.

Referral Pathway: via NIDirect

Email: [email protected] 

NI Refugee Resettlement Service

Provides key workers to support individuals and families arriving in NI who have been granted refugee status and given leave to remain in the UK. Staff work intensively from point of arrival to help them resettle in NI.

Referral Pathway: UK government identify suitable families for resettlement

Tel: +44 (0)28 9027 8424

Email: [email protected] 

Strength 2 Strength

A community-based intervention provided to children, aged 8-13, and their families, who are assessed as being in need. It takes a holistic approach to the  family, encouraging healthy development, safety, stability and a positive future. Referral Pathway: accepts referrals from all community and statutory agencies

Tel: +44 (0)28 7126 2104

Email: [email protected] 


A community-based intervention programme offering support to young people aged 8-12 who are deemed at medium to high risk of experiencing difficulties at home, in school and in the community. The project provides young people with the opportunity to develop essential life skills and build resiliency.

Referral Pathway: via Social Services

Tel: +44 (0)28 7126 2104

Email: [email protected] 

500 young people supported through our NW-based youth services in one year alone

Mentoring Support

Offers mentoring for young people, aged between 10-17, who are residing in a care placement, or who have prior experience of care placement. The aim of the project is to help build capacity and resilience for the young person, as well as provide both emotional and practical support, and develop life skills.

Referral Pathway: via Social Services

Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555

Email: [email protected] 

Independent Visitor Programme

Offers one-to-one support for children and young people who are in care or have had experience with care support services. The role of the Independent Visitor is to “assist, advise and befriend” through building positive and supportive relationships with individuals, independent of the Trust.

Referral Pathway: via the Western Health Trust

Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555

Email: [email protected] 

Time Out

The Time Out programme offers respite, safety and support to children aged 8-17 and their families. Working in partnership with social workers, the service responds to crisis and offers a sanctuary for young people who need time in a safe place where they can reflect and feel valued.

Referral Pathway: Social Work departments in Health Trusts across NI

Tel: +44 (0)28 7126 2104

Being able to access support as quickly as possible is the key priority for people in crisis. That's why with our 'open referral' CCIS project we ensure that those most in need of support with their mental health in the North-West do not need to go through the complexities of the referral pathway to get the help they need.

Community Crisis Intervention Service (CCIS)

A community-led initiative which responds to individuals who are observed to be in distress and potentially vulnerable, and who may be at risk of suicidal behaviour.

The service provides a timely (within approx. 30mins), non-clinical, community response to those experiencing  social, emotional or situational crisis.

While people are sometimes referred to CCIS by external agencies such as the PSNI or Foyle Search and Rescue, NO APPOINTMENT is needed for this service.

Tel: +44 (0)28 7126 2300