Parent Aid Waitakere serves families/carers of children up to age 13. Its mission is to provide free, in-home childcare and assistance in times of illness, accidents, stress or other emergency.
Throughout the Covid19 pandemic Parent Aid received an unprecedented number of calls from health workers asking for support for new mothers, mothers with young children or who had experienced anxiety or stress due to family violence or Covid-19 lock downs. The lockdowns and isolation was extremely stressful for some families including where one or both parents lost their job, navigated sickness or grief, or welcomed a new child.
The Sutherland Self Help Trust provided funding for Parent Aid’s project to support Whanau Post Covid-19 and purchase smart phones for its staff.
To overcome being unable to physically visit clients, Parent Aid staff used the smart phones (via confidential communication apps) to offer support remotely. This also enabled staff to refer families to other support services e.g food banks, mental health and counselling support.
The phones are also used on a daily basis by staff to register when they arrive/leave clients home (instead of filling out a paper form), and to provide feedback surveys for clients.
A recent survey showed families felt supported during the lockdowns to make positive changes within their homes while they navigated Covid-19 restrictions. Other key points from the survey were – Maori, Pasifika and ethnic families felt more connected to the community – Less stress and anxiety for parents, especially women – Greater self confidence for parents, especially women, to manage their day to day life.
“Thank you so much for supporting us in our mahi for the families in our community that need our support when they have no one else to turn to for practical help.” Parent Aid Waitakere