Wed, Dec 22, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Experts to educate parents at home

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei City's Bureau of Social Affairs is launching a program in which professionals will visit families' homes to help parents improve their financial management and parenting skills for free.

The program, managed by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, has so far recruited 35 home helpers who are professionally trained as babysitters and homecare providers.

"Families in need can contact the fund's district office or the bureau for an assessment. Trainers will be dispatched to help parents in families that qualify," said the bureau's Chen Yi-chin (陳漪錦).

Although the helpers are ready to start work, assessments are still being conducted to determine whether families that have applied really need such assistance.

It is hoped that the program, which is still in an experimental stage, will in the future also offer bilingual services.

The services offered as part of the program include demonstrations of household chore management, meal preparation and medical assistance.

Each visit would last no longer than three hours.

One of the program's goals is to curb domestic abuse of children. According to a recent study, 277 cases of juvenile abuse have been recorded so far this year.

The study showed that physical abuse is the most common, with the highest rate of abuse in the summer, when children spend more time at home during the school holidays.

The bureau stressed that the home helpers were not babysitters or household maids, but would simply offer instructional services to troubled families.

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