In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to care for and support each other. This spirit is especially lived by our network all over Europe. We invite you to explore the different services and information offered by COFACE member organisations for families and individuals in the era of COVID-19. Let’s take it alphabetically….
Our Austrian member KFÖ collects and shares valuable resources and services. They will add once a day from Monday to Friday something new on their dedicated webpage. It will gather a colourful mixture of relevant information, exciting background talks, handicraft and leisure tips, recipes and life hacks especially for families.
At least for the next 5 weeks, Belgium has gone into lockdown, with schools and nurseries being closed and home office being the norm. This has a big impact on a lot of families, because how do you combine taking care of kids with your work? And how on earth do you keep your children busy? Our member Gezinsbond gives valuable tips!
Another question many families have is: how do you bridge the gap between school and home? Ligue des Familles asked teachers to make a list of free tutoring resources they trust. Here is their non-exhaustive list and a few tips, just to keep the flame burning.
On another note, this Blog post by a Belgian parent gives an insight into what it is like when you think your child might have the Coronavirus. The personal story reflects what parents can do in these situations and what is important for everyone right now. Do you have a similar story to share?
In times of corona, it’s best for all of us to stay home as much as possible. But tensions can be high there. With several adolescents in the house, the situation doesn’t get any easier. Gezinsbond offers some tips here.
In Croatia our member Step by Step is in the process of shifting many of their services online. Especially their mental health counselling as everyone responds differently to stressful situations. Some feel overwhelmed or worried that the COVID-19 circumstances are affecting their ability to work or care for their family or need advice on how to handle the quarantine/self-isolation. It is open to anyone who seeks help of their trained and experienced professionals for mental health. You can find more information on their services as well as relevant information on the situation in Croatia here.
Our member in the north of Europe has an extensive list of information and services available. The Finnish Family Union Vaestoliitto has compiled input from experts on this webpage. The list is constantly updated and addresses topics such as: How to relieve anxiety caused by Corona virus? How to talk to a child about coronavirus? Coronavirus and the two homes of the child. Adults as well as young people also find possibilities to chat with experts online to discuss the coronavirus and interpersonal relationships, how to calm oneself down when the coronavirus situation is distressing or corona concerns in a young sexuality counseling chat.
You can see how that could look like in this blog post by expert Raisa Cacciatore who gives advices to parents on how do you support, hear, and comfort your child if your own heart is distracted by distress and distressing thoughts on the coronavirus.
Are you wondering about everyday, parenthood or relationship questions? Join a discussion with their expert without an appointment. An on call chat expert can give you support, advice and guidance. Chat every business day from 9.30-11.30 am to 9.30-11.30 –> www.hyvakysymys.fi/perhepulma-chat
Our many members are helping in many areas. UNAF France together with other partners created an app called FamiNum, so in times of closed schools and teleworking you and your family can create a family charter for a peaceful digital life.
APF France Handicap is helping persons with mental disabilities understand the current circumstances in Easy-to-Read. They provide and share useful information in Easy-to-Read, such as the certificate for going outside, which is needed at the moment during the lockdown in France. See here.
With the spread of Covid19, our French member Unapei remains more than ever mobilized in providing services to people with disabilities, their families and associations. Their teams shifted to online work and can be reached by email. Further, a national crisis unit linked to the Unapei regions ensures the circulation of information and feedback to alert the public authorities, such as the dissemination of national directives and the sharing of good practices. The local Unapei associations are mobilised to give their support and remain the local contact to be privileged. If you are a member of a family with a disabled person, you can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information on Unapei’s actions and specific recommendations for disabled people, their relatives and associations can be consulted on their site which will be updated.
Another measure from Greece to help families affected by the Covid 19 started. All licenced psychologists and social workers who voluntarily want to support families are trained by the University of Athens and are given the access to support by a 24/h. telephone help line for all those who need advice and help. KMOP has joined this effort by offering the whole working time of five psychologists who are full time employed by KMOP.
Our Hungarian member the Single Parent Association is in the process of shifting some services online. Tutoring and counselling is still available. A page further summarizes which public education institutions in each district and county seat can take care of children, and where and how to provide free child meals to those in need during the emergency caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. More here.
How can you stay in touch if you can’t meet? Our Irish member ICA had the idea to launch a writing competition. The competition runs for the next few months and their members are invited to share a great memory. Another way ICA wants to stay in touch with their members is via short films taken on the smart phone. Can you bake a cake? Draw or paint a picture, or sew something small. Anything can be shared through a short videos (only a couple of minutes) on their phones and be send to them by mail. Physical distancing is important, but staying interconnected socially is essential.
To support families in this new reality, Pro Parents has joined forces with specialised partners such as TNO, Argo GGZ and IMH Nederland. Together they collect tips for working parents at home on https://proparents.nl/thuiswerk/
A specialised team of clinical psychologists, pedagogues and infant mental health specialists digitally assist parents. In this way we hold each other tightly together, now that keeping our distance is the new reality.
The pandemic in which we currently live is a time of greater fragility, where loneliness and isolation of the senior population are a concern of the Fundação LIGA. Feelings of fear and anguish take on significant proportions in this period, especially in this age group that is characterized as a risk group. Therefore, to minimize this impact, the Senior Club continues to maintain its partnership with the InterAjuda Project, through psychological accompaniment by telephone to our seniors.
Our Spanish member FAMS wants to know the experiences of women who lead single-parent families and how this crisis is affecting them. You can find the form to submit on this webpage. Questions will be around how the measures are affecting you, what strategies are used to support the care of your child, what information do you have from your community about assistance and support for single-parent families?
Similarly, FFM Isadora Duncan has opened a thread on Facebook so that single-parent families with children can tell how they are living in these times and, above all, what problems they are encountering when it comes to reconciliation. With the data obtained from the comments on Facebook, they will have a more accurate view of the problems of single parenthood and reconciliation in serious emergencies. By collecting these experiences and opinions in a study, it can serve as an indicator and even help other single-parent families to better overcome this tremendous crisis, which is undoubtedly putting the social, political and health systems to the test.
FFM Isadora Duncan further created a guide to take care of your mental health. The tips from psychologist Elena San Mart include protective measures that help you to cope with the distressing situation, such as avoiding over-information, stay active or help each other.
Digital technologies and Internet accessibility is now more important than ever, especially in education! No one should be left behind! Our Spanish member calls providers to help vulnerable families and ensure universal access for children in Spain during the #COVID19 crisis.
A Salut I Familia will continue to provide all services free of charge by phone from now on. You can call to request attention in family planning, legal termination of pregnancy, training and employment counseling, legal advice and/or social and psychological support. More here.
In cooperation with Salut I Familia, b-resol offer now free service of psychological and social advice during the confinement aimed at adolescents, families, education and social action professionals. Access here: https://b-resol.com/