Making space for change
During the session, we heard from Danielle Abbott, the quality implementation lead for our Family by Family programme, which links volunteer families who have come out the other side of a tough time with families who are right in the thick of it. The purpose of Family by Family is to make sure that families have someone to walk alongside them as they work towards their goals; it also aims to increase social capital and decrease the need for families to interface with crisis services.
Danielle walked us through some of the changes that the Family by Family team is making to ensure physical distancing, while still responding to the increased stress levels of families. This includes strategies like coaching sessions and training online, and safe spaces for children to interact together online like playgroups and cooking classes.
Peers have continued to link up together in platforms that work for them and share stories while setting goals. Some families have even told us that meeting this way has helped them to become more concise about what they’re thinking and feeling.
We also heard from Lucy Fraser, a senior social innovator at TACSI, who shared a project we’re developing alongside Cohealth and young South Sudanese Australians that supports the mental wellbeing of their peers. The team recognised the changing COVID-19 context as an increased risk to mental wellbeing, and an opportunity to adapt solutions to operate in social distancing conditions in order to prevent worsening health.
As a group, we also talked about a number of initiatives and resources around the world, remembering that not everything revolves around tech, and that sometimes it’s the low tech examples, like dancing together in our neighbourhood, that can enhance our experience and deepen the connection to others.