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Abu Dhabi: Counselling service for parents undergoing separation

Abu Dhabi - Counselling to make parents aware of serious impact on children arising out of divorce.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 25 Mar 2021, 9:58 PM

The Capital will be offering counselling support to parents of little children in the midst of separation or facing conflict in their relationship.

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), in partnership with Authority of Social Contribution - Ma’an, on Thursday announced the family counselling services to support parents of children aged one to eight, making them aware of the serious impact on children arising out of divorce and separation among parents.

“Together with our strategic partner, ECA is working on promoting cooperation and coordination with Ma’an to execute joint programmes, share information and form operational working groups to address social challenges related to supporting children’s holistic development,” said Thamer Al Qasimi, Acting Executive Director, Special Projects & Outreach at ECA.

“The two sides are responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the project, to ensure achieving its sustainable and positive social impact,” he added.

The project falls within the framework of Ma’an’s Social Impact Bonds System (SIBs), which is the first-of-its-kind in the Gulf, and aims to develop sustainable solutions to complex social challenges. The project’s value was evaluated based on studies carried out by Ma’an within the framework of SIB to ensure they can achieve the required deliverables.

How the SIBs work

First introduced in the UK, SIBs are an internationally established and successful way to finance the delivery of public services. They involve the government, a social service provider and a social investor - using multi-party partnerships to bring together the right organizations to solve social challenges.

The contract operates on a pay-for-success basis, whereby social service providers will have the freedom to innovate and come up with a solution that delivers the social outcome. Private investors such as high networth individuals or investment funds will then invest in the SIB and the government will pay back the investor - with interest – but only if the outcomes are achieved.

The counseling programme adopts an evaluation model to measure its impact and identify specific outputs per the approved economic and social feasibility study, which shall be identified by the project’s steering committee, who will assess the social and psychological impacts that divorce can have on both parents and children.

Faisal Al Hammoudi, Acting Executive Director for Social Incubator and Contracting at Ma’an, said that more than 40 countries worldwide use SIBs, because they provide innovative solutions based on results of partnerships between social service providers and social investors, and other partners. The first-of-its-kind programme in the region, Ma’an pioneered the use of SIBs in the Gulf because they are a proven and successful international tool with which to finance public services.

Alamy photo used for illustrative purpose
Alamy photo used for illustrative purpose

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