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Academic and community collaboration creates resources for families affected by war

12 April 2022

Couple with two young children, one holding hands and swinging

A senior lecturer from the Wolfson Centre has worked with Oxford University to create parenting advice resources for families in humanitarian crises.

Dr Yulia Shenderovich from the Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health and DECIPHer has co-led with Oxford University’s social policy team an effort to create online resources to support families.

With the assistance of Oxford University’s Ukrainian and wider East European communities, the research teams have collaborated to create information on parenting tips in three languages –Ukrainian, Russian, and English. These resources are available online and endorsed by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation and multiple charities.

Dr Shenderovich said: “Parents and caregivers in Ukraine and the region are facing devasting circumstances as a result of war. Families in this awful situation should be able to access support that is based on research evidence.

“I was pleased to play a part in making these resources available quickly. I put the call out for help with translation and dissemination via Eastern European diaspora social media networks and we were thrilled with the quick response from the community.”

The initiative has brought together United Nations agencies to rapidly develop simple social media tips to help families to cope with stress, make safety plans for their children, support children through fear and danger, and build children’s resilience to crisis. So far, the parenting tips have been shared directly with 43 organisations, including 11 academic institutions, four UN Agencies, 25 non-governmental organisations, two funding agencies, and one governmental body.

Dr Shenderovich added: “It was great to work closely with colleagues in Oxford and Cardiff and collaborate on preparing and disseminating these important resources. For example, Cardiff University researcher in digital media, Viorica Budu, has passed the materials on to government agencies in Moldova that are working with refugee families from Ukraine. Our team at the Wolfson and DECIPHer Centres, along with colleagues at Oxford, are sending our condolences to everyone impacted by the ongoing crisis.”

Professor Lucie Cluver, based at Oxford University, has been leading the response and will be the first speaker in the upcoming Wolfson Centre public lecture series. Professor Cluver will be discussing ways to support families in emergencies, and the lecture will feature discussion on the creation of these parenting resources for families in Ukraine.

The virtual lecture Parenting in Emergencies: Evidence and innovation to support children and their caregivers, takes place on 26 April 2022 at 2pm. Register online now.

Accessing the Parenting Resources

All of the parenting resources are open source and can be downloaded in PNG and PDF format, to allow sharing and editing.

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