NPSC launches parent support helplines amid COVID-19 crisis
UNICEF supporting service to offer much needed psychosocial care to parents across Jamaica
The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Victoria Mutual Foundation (VM Foundation) and Fight for Peace has launched thirty-six (36) helplines to offer much needed psychosocial care to parents across Jamaica.
The helplines, which became operational Monday, April 6, have been established, two (2) per parish, with the exception of Kingston, St. James, St. Ann, St. Catherine and Clarendon, which have been given additional helplines. These parishes have recorded a higher numbers of COVID-19 cases. In the case of Clarendon, sections of that parish remain under quarantine.
This initiative was launched against the background of the NPSC’s implementation of the National Parenting Support Policy aimed at ensuring continuous parental involvement throughout the education sector. This is being done through a comprehensive suite of coordinated support and public-private partnerships.
With the closure of schools, many parents had cited challenges in helping out in home schooling. Other parents initially reported concerns about providing food for their children who are a part of the Government of Jamaica’s social protection programmes where they are provided breakfast and lunch at school. The Education Ministry has since arranged for meals to be delivered to students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and going forward for cash payments to made available to parents.
Persons operating the helplines will help guide callers to where and how they may get additional help and what they can do as individuals.
The phone numbers for each parish helpline can be accessed here.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Jamaica, visit www.unicef.org/jamaica.