International Day of Families

We have just celebrated the UNICEF led International Day of the Family. The theme this year is Families and New Technology.

In the EurofamNet policy and practice group we have many members from around Europe. All of us have stories to tell of how we have made use of digital technology to engage with families during the lockdowns due to the pandemic. It has really been very impressive how families have adapted to this work and how organisations have developed new ways of working, of delivering training courses and having time with parents who have struggled during this time.

However, this has not been the case for all families. The concept of the digital divide is not new but has become much more stark during the lockdowns. Families who do not have access to the internet and a device to connect to the internet have found themselves missing out on desperately needed support. Children who have been home-schooling have not been able to join in with their classes – or have had to wait in turn to use the single family device.

These are matters that we need to address as we move out of lockdown around Europe. Members of the policy and practice group have learned a great deal about how best to use technology in our work with families – both parents and children. 

But we have also learnt about how lack of access to digital technology causes some of our most needy families to miss out on vital support and help.

We will be sharing some of our learning as we meet over the next few months with a hope that we can help the thinking and drive towards reducing the digital divide.

Andy Lloyd,
EurofamNet Policy & Practice Group Leader