Family support in COVID-19 times
Family supports are an essential part of making social rights a reality, and civil society has grown over decades to create a wide range of supports to families and children to ensure health and well-being. Now, more than ever, it is important to connect professionals in real time through transnational exchanges in order to tackle the social impacts of COVID-19 on families and children. We believe the European Family Lab can be the place to connect them, serving as an innovation incubator for ideas and cross-country knowledge transfer to help family professionals deliver the best possible supports for Europeans.
In this first phase, we are launching the first stream of the European Family Lab: a breakfast bytes webinar series on family support to help family professionals meet and connect, aiming to build their capacity through transnational exchange and innovative solutions to ensure effective responses to families, all types without discrimination. Family professionals can be adult and child educators, policy-makers, researchers, teachers, nurses, psychologists, and many more. In a second phase, we plan to target families and children more directly to make the Lab user-friendly and directly useful in their daily lives.
We hope to pool the great expertise out there in family support via the Lab to foster a great community of family practitioners who adhere to the values of COFACE of gender equality, non-discrimination, social inclusion, human rights, empowerment and intergenerational solidarity, working for the health and well-being of all types of families.
Europe is the European Union, with key policy frameworks like the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU Disability Strategy, the EU Gender equality strategy, the Safer Internet Strategy, the Digital Education Action Plan; and legal frameworks like the EU work-life balance directive, the European Accessiblity Act, the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive, the EU budget regulations and more. The Lab will use these EU frameworks to guide its vision and impact strategies. Europe is also 27 Member States and its neighbouring countries, with huge amounts of expertise and NGO resources to be found in local communities. The European Family Lab aims to put the spotlight on different family supports, draw them out for other countries to explore, and promote upscaling of such supports across countries for the benefit of families.