- Families may be considered as the most dominant informal institution in Azerbaijan.
- Families comprise children, adults and the elderly, so when social problems such as poverty, disability, homelessness or unemployment affects one member, it may affect the whole family.
- Therefore, UAFA recommends that social support is directed through the family and has designed a system of FAMILY SUPPORT WORKERS to act a bridge between underprivileged or vulnerable families and society.
UAFA trains Family Support Workers to do the following activities:
- Make regular home visits, usually once per week
- Support parents, give advice and provide information
- Assess, monitor and evaluate a child’s developmental progress
- Maintain accurate documentation of the interventions with the family
- Liaise with other service providers who can support families facing social problems
- Follow-up regularly to check on progress and celebrate success (empowering)
There are many children and families in Azerbaijan suffering from social problems (poverty, ignorance, disability, unemployment, violence, early marriage, lack of housing etc.). In most cases these families either suffer in silence or send endless letters to goverment bodies and businesses asking for help, usually financial. Goverment bodies and businesses receive many letters from such families. They do not know where to start or how to prioritise these problems. Secondly, they do not have experience, time or resources to help everyone.
‘A teacher grows minds; a doctor fixes the body; a social worker mends lives’.
It does not matter if a family is wealthy or poor, if the country is wealthy or poor, there are many disasters in life that can reduce a family to ruin very quickly. They need access to quick support, a person who can empower them to overcome their difficult life situation. Through past experience with more than 4500 families (2012-2014), UAFA identified major social problems faced by children and families. The roots are poverty, disability and unemployment which lead to far greater social issues such as family break-ups (leading to a significant increase in single-mother households), homelessness, violence, children being out of education, ignorance and isolation from the society.