Supporting families in stressful situations
Since March 2020, the PLH (Parenting for Lifelong Health) initiative, based at the University of Oxford, has led a Covid-19 emergency response with the WHO, UNICEF, UNODC, USAID, CDC and the Global Partnership to End Violence to respond to the impact Covid-19 is having on vulnerable families. The response has focused on providing free evidence-based parenting resources that are designed to promote playful, nurturing caregiving and prevent violence against children.
The Human Safety Net decided to contribute to this global initiative to make the content available in more countries and accessible to more NGOs and parents alike.
With the help of over 800 volunteers, more than 2,500 pieces of content (parenting tips and videos) have been translated in 20 languages and are now part of an open global library. These parenting tips are being used and disseminated by the network of Families NGO partners and directly supporting parents with children experiencing stressful moments.
Furthermore, The Human Safety Net is supporting the initiative in its next phase, to develop and pilot two innovative digital solutions in Malaysia and the Philippines.
- The first is an interactive text message system for parents called ParentText that suggests daily activities to families, while offering positive feedback and on-demand content through a chatbot, all via SMS in order to reach low-income communities that might not even have access to smartphones.
- The second is ParentChat, a methodology for facilitating online parenting support groups on on-line messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or Viber. Within these support groups, facilitators share tips and activities, often through multimedia content such as videos, and parents can share feedback and learn from each other.
Lucie Cluver, Professor of Child and Family Social Work, and Jamie Lachman Senior Research Officer at Oxford University say:
“The University of Oxford and Parenting for Lifelong Health have been working with The Human Safety Net to provide evidence-based parenting resources to millions of people during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are delighted to be embarking on a new stage in this partnership with our innovative digital parenting strategies in Malaysia and the Philippines.
In 2021, we will strengthen these programmes and make critical scientific advances in our knowledge about what works, for whom, and how, so that we are able to prevent violence against children and promote healthy child development at scale."