15/05/2012 - SOS Children’s Villages has today published Family Focus 2012 – Challenging Times – What can be done to make 2013 better for families. An in-depth report that is the result of a survey that identified five main areas of concern for families globally. The document outlines realistic options for legislators and others who wish to do something NOW to improve matters in the year ahead.
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The turbulent economic climate of recent years has severely impacted on the ability of parents across diverse regions of the world to cope and care for children. Cuts in social services, unemployment, infant mortality, educational standards and a lack of coping mechanisms greatly affect not only those who previously faced difficulties, but others who find their families in need of support for the first time.
“The current economic challenges that confront governments and decision-makers everywhere are not an excuse for inaction. Investing in family is more about attitude than economics. The word 'family' comes with respect attached to it,” said Mr. Richard Pichler, Secretary General of SOS Children’s Villages International. “Today’s launch is a call for everyone wishing to put the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into action.”
A holistic, can-do approach that places the family at the core of every decision made
Family Focus 2012 is about placing the concept of a strong family environment at the core of every decision made by those in positions of influence. It informs those who wish to do what is possible in a spirit of solidarity and partnership. “A family focused approach is more about attitude than economics. A holistic can-do attitude can help the most disadvantaged, and support others before they find themselves beyond the brink of a parenting crisis,” Mr Pichler said.
Family focused policies help overcome the challenges brought about by the global economic crisis @ J.Lugtigheid
Common challenges and responses across 86 countries
In Bosnia Herzegovina, the number of children placed in residential care has recently increased: empowering families to remain together in 2013 is an achievable alternative.
The unemployment that has fuelled alcoholism in Namibia can be reduced – self-esteem can quickly be restored by nurturing employment and training opportunities.
A six-fold increase in requests for family support in Greece followed cuts and deregulation of the public welfare system – social protection solutions are possible.
1.5 million children die of water-borne disease annually, many of them in Burkina Faso where – four out of five do not have access to running water. More preventative health measures can save lives.
Parents who migrate across Peru or emigrate elsewhere need not leave their children in the long-term care of grandparents – administrative changes can keep families intact.
Child labour has been reduced in many countries: the same is achievable in Pakistan where partnerships could prevent children from dropping out of school in 2013.
May 15, UN International Day of Families
Today, is a day to invest in families SOS Children's Villages requests that everyone unite and pursue a can-do approach to help families overcome crisis. By understanding “the notion of family,” society can strive to provide parents with the resources needed to live in dignity and to have what is necessary to devote to the full and optimal development of their children.
Download Family Focus 2012 Challenging times - How 2013 can be made better