Humanitarian crises have tremendous impacts on children and families. Families experience and witness death, displacement, hardships and financial stress, separation, and very often, violence, all of which are serious risks to their mental health and wellbeing. Parents and caregivers must provide 24/7 care, alongside increased stress, fear, and trauma. Exposure to trauma, hardships, parental mental health, changes in parenting behaviours, violence, and a lack of accessible services are among common risk factors for adverse child outcomes. Positive parenting could provide a protective buffer for children’s mental health and wellbeing in humanitarian crisis contexts. However, there is limited research on parenting interventions in humanitarian settings.
The Parenting in Crisis Response is part of an inter-agency coalition including the WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNODC, University College London, Cardiff University, Parenting for Lifelong Health, the IRC, the Global Initiative to Support Parents and other international organisations. Through the Ukraine Parenting Response and the Pakistan Parenting Response, we have co-developed open-source parenting resources to support families in different humanitarian settings and thereby prevent child abuse. These Parenting in Crisis resources, also known as the Ukraine Parenting resources and the Pakistan Parenting resources, are available via online, audio-visual, and print media, and have been disseminated to over 11.5 million people and translated into 26 languages. The resources have also been adapted by partner organisations, including UNODC and World Without Orphans - and have been delivered to parents and caregivers through in-person support groups.