Executive Director of the Family Consulting Centre (Wifaq) Rashid bin Ahmed Al Dosari said that there is a significant positive change in the behaviour of the family in general, in light of the requirements imposed by the procedures to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) for families to stay at homes longer.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency, Al Dosari added that the current crisis has raised the sense of responsibility and the ability to prioritise the family in society, noting that the consultants and mentors at the Centre have touched through their communication with Wifaq's clients a noticeable change in the nature of family problems as a result of staying at home and spending more time with families.
He pointed out that the rapprochement between family members while staying at homes raised a sense of responsibility towards family stability, and contributed effectively to overcoming some challenges, as consultants monitored a remarkable development in choosing appropriate methods to solve many family problems, and the adoption of communication and dialogue between spouses to reach solutions when any dispute occurs.
He explained that one of the important family behaviors that were monitored through dealing with clients is what have been seen in terms of the parties' efforts to reconcile and cooperate with the Centre to reach positive solutions that maintain the stability of marital and family life.
Al Dosari revealed that the Centre achieved a success rate of 74% in family reconciliation cases, during the period between 15 March to 15 April 2020, as it provided its services in the same period to more than 10900 beneficiaries, and also held in the same period 1494 counseling sessions as well as about 1,800 parental care services.
About the action plan of the Wifaq Centre within the new precautionary measures, the Executive Director said that the Centre had taken since 8 March 2020 a set of precautionary measures, and adopted a remote work system, allowing employees to carry out their work and manage their meetings from their homes by using the electronic digital platforms available to them.
He pointed out that the center followed procedures for remote work in crises and institutional risks, including a set of measures such as urgent precautionary health and safety measures, and remote work procedures to support employees in dealing with the crisis, as well as precautionary administrative measures towards employees and clients according to levels of risks, in addition to the procedures of the system of providing services to remote beneficiaries to ensure the continuity of the service provided by each department, among others.
Wifaq, he said, allows its clients to benefit from its specialised consulting services remotely offered by a consulting team specialising in various fields, through telephone advice via the call center 16003 or via electronic advice through the Centre's website.
He added that the document of preventive and precautionary measures against the new coronavirus (COVID-19), included preparing a detailed working procedures guide according to each section of the center, where client calls were diverted from landlines to employees' mobile phones to provide consulting service to clients remotely by activating the JABBER application. Also, the remote work system has been applied to provide the services of the Family Reconciliation Section for cases transferred from the court.
With regard to providing remote parental care service, coordination has been made with clients to implement visits and take them out of the center for the current cases, not the new ones, he said, adding that a mechanism for handling and receiving those staying in the Parental Care Section through the home was established and defined.
He pointed out that the specialists in the Parental Care Section undertake, during the current circumstances, telephone and continuous communication with all clients of the Parental Care Section in order to urge them or their representatives to cooperate in implementing the home visit to preserve the safety of those in the Centre and achieve their interests, given that the home is the natural and typical environment for the child's development.
In effective cooperation with parents, a large number of visits were implemented successfully through the home, and that there were cases that preferred to stop implementation during this period both through the Centre and the home, he noted.
Wifaq Executive Director Rashid bin Ahmed Al Dosari explained that during the current period, the parental care section is working to follow up and facilitate the process of implementing home visits, in addition to providing guidance to address the problems and differences that may occur during the implementation process. Further efforts are being made with the foster parties to convince them to continue to communicate with the parental party, either directly after coordination between the two parties on the dates of the communications, or through joint calls carried out in coordination with the specialists in the department.
In response to a question about the procedures of working remotely for the new cases, Al Dosari said that these cases are divided into two types: cases that come to the Centre through the Family court, and others that communicate with the Centre via telephone and request parental care services amicably, which are provided throughout the week.
In his interview with QNA, Al Dosari confirmed that the work is continuing between the Centre and the Family court, and its mechanisms have recently moved to a stage that adapts the digital development in the country, where the process of electronic government linking between the Centre and the courts have been completed, and all reports and cases reach the Centre through electronic linking after it was previously sent by mail.
He explained that the digital transformation provided a high level of ease, smoothness and documentation with the confidentiality of information, and had a good impact on working remotely during the current situation. Work continues to be facilitated in receiving cases and decisions from the Family Court and is referred to the relevant sections in Wifaq Centre, while at the same time those issued are referred to the Family Court for implementation after its completion remotely in the Centre as quick as possible.
As for inspections, contact is established with those concerned to inform them of the potential risks of implementing inspections during the current situation, he said, adding that there is constant communication with clients via mobile phone, where all their contacts and inquiries are received and answered.
Speaking about the mechanism of the work of the tests and measurements section in the current period, he confirmed that the section continues to provide its services to clients using JABBER application, and through mobile phones that have been allocated to work remotely, where clients are transferred to the specialist in charge of the process of psychological tests and measurements and reporting. In addition to the evaluation service for educational, psychological and marital situations remotely, as well as the evaluation of the educational aspects of the parents and the writing of psychological reports in accordance with the forms adopted by the section.
He added that the tests and measurements section is currently working on the design of an electronic application via smartphones in cooperation with companies accredited in psychological measurement to measure abilities and personality attributes 'especially for children', where the first phase will use ten psychological measures to be used within the crisis management plan, and will be implemented and put forward for activation as soon as possible.
Al Dosari said that the Centre has turned all public awareness activities into digital awareness through its accounts on various social media platforms. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Centre published an awareness series which achieved more than three million views across all social media platforms during the first week.
He added that Wifaq Centre sought to create content for awareness activities in keeping with the current circumstances so that efforts tend to raise awareness of family members about the importance of family bonding and dialogue and to invest this crisis in bringing its members closer together, as well as intensifying awareness activities remotely through social media and the available electronic applications.
He also said that the Centre is currently working on developing the appointment booking service to become available electronically in order to accelerate the pace of digital development in its procedures and services, especially in the current situation which requires intensified efforts to facilitate access to specialized services for target groups.
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