New helpline launched to support parents and caregivers

The parenting helpline 075/230-530 will be open every day from 15:00-20:00, including weekends

22 April 2020
A girl at home
UNICEF/UNI320510/Isanovic

The parenting helpline 075/230-530 will be open every day from 15:00-20:00, including weekends

Skopje, 22 April 2020 – In collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the National Network to End Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, with financial support from the Austrian Development Agency, UNICEF today launched free helpline providing support and counseling to parents and caregivers to raise children in  protective and nurturing family environment.

 “Parenting is not always easy. In this time of uncertainty, parenting may be challenging.“ said Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Representative. “Therefore it is the responsibility of the whole society to help parents feel empowered in dealing with difficult situations and  give them skills and advice in raising confident, respectful and successful children.“

A recent UNICEF supported survey shows that while most parents are aware of the harmful consequences of using violence to raise children, this does not necessarily translate into practice.  Social expectations to punish, low self-efficacy and not having access to information on positive parenting and child development are the main reasons for the continued violence as discipline.

The current situation with school closures disrupting children’s learning, routines, and support systems, also adds stress on family members who are facing increased economic vulnerability or are struggling to work remotely. Such stress can lead to higher rates of child neglect and abuse and family violence.

Offering parents an opportunity to get free and confidential advice from trained experts can help them better understand the impact of their parenting style on child development; can build their parenting skills and provide a range of parenting tips so that they can be there for their children as a stable, calm and soothing parent.

The helpline will be operated every day including weekends from 15:00 to 20:00 by a team of seven trained experts. Parents and caregivers may call to get tips for healthy parenting, or they may receive comprehensive guided counseling and day by day monitoring of progress made together with the counselors. The counselors ensure the anonymity and privacy of the information received by parents and caregivers.

The helpline is designed as part of a broader UNICEF supported effort to strengthen services and programmes to support parents in  raising confident, respectful and successful children, as a continuation of the initiative “Parenting is also learned” which opened the discussion on emotional attachment, character development, parenting styles and the impact of adversities and stress on child development.

Media Contacts

Suzie Pappas Capovska
Tel: (02) 3231-244
Irina Ivanovska
Tel: (02) 3231-172

About UNICEF

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, visit www.unicef.mk.

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