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French member UNAF offers additional services during COVID-19

The National Union of Family Associations (COFACE Member) is supporting its network and families during lockdown. In each of France’s 101 departments, a Departmental Union of Family Associations (UDAF) performs the same task as the UNAF, representing families at a local level, and provides direct support for families and vulnerable people.

In France, the UDAF network supports 147 000 people who are under guardianship or curatorship, 9 500 families under child protection services, thousands of couples in the process of separation and thousands of families in financial difficulties. Since the onset of the crisis, services for vulnerable people have been able to rely on UNAF to help refocus themselves, adapt supervision to the COVID crisis, find masks for workers and maintain their democratic life, from a distance of course.

Faced with this crisis, which complicates family relations, UNAF and its partners have brought forward the launch of an innovative mediation service for family carers dealing with conflicts between members of their families surrounding issues of ageing, integration into a care home, inheritance, etc. This new service will be tested first in 12 UDAFs, then in 22, and then throughout France. To support families, UNAF has launched several online tools on the themes of screens and video games, to help parents regulate the role of screens in family life during lockdown.

They have also created a Facebook page called Taking Care of My Family, to support families in all aspects of life during lockdown: recreation, health, family law, solidarity, consumption and education. Especially for family carers who are in close contact with people who are elderly, sick or who have a disability, they have posted, and regularly update, an FAQ page to support them in their daily lives. Family organisations have also been affected by the health crisis and will be for a long time. With the arrival of the summer holidays, a subject very close to the heart of families, UNAF decided to ask families about their expectations, in order to get to know them better. It will also, in partnership with the Observatory for Holidays and Children and Young People’s Recreation and Youth Outdoors, conduct a series of studies on the topic of children’s and families’ holidays.

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