Unintentional neglect due to stress
In this film we address neglect due to financial stress. The couple discusses how they need to make it to the end of the month. They are unable to do so and the stress can be read from both their faces.
The youngest child of the couple manages to obtain a pair of scissors and his slightly older sister tries to warn her mother but is unsuccessful. The mother pushes the girl away because she wants to stay focussed on the conversation. The situation is kept under control without real incidents, but it becomes painfully clear that the mother is clearly unable to spend time with her children. She says: “Why did you not warn me before?” to her daughter. Her daughter certainly tried but it did not sink in. An understandable situation, right? And this way difficult circumstances can unintentionally put you on the road of neglect.
In dire straits financially. What does it do to you?
The impact is considerable and is frequently underestimated. If you are daily facing the question whether you can hold your own then this results in a series of reactions, both mentally and physically. You can no longer keep an overview of your life. You start suffering from tunnel vision and you take rash actions. A lot also happens physically. If the stress continues for a long period of time then your body continues producing stress hormones, which is an unhealthy situation. You are less able to think in a problem-solving manner as a result of which it becomes difficult to get out of the situation by yourself. Help is then required.
‘Your ability to deal with problems or things is strongly reduced. You start suffering from tunnel vision and you can only think in short-term solutions.’
Breaking the shame or pride
It is difficult to show the outside world that things are not going well. There is shame or it is hard to set aside pride. Asking for help sometimes feels as if your self-esteem is affected. That is why appearances, as if nothing is going on, are kept up for the outside world but this usually results in a downwards spiral. It takes energy to desperately show the outside world that things are going well.
It also happens that people think that they are not worth asking for help or they think that they should solve their problems by themselves. Or they are tired of the meddling of both their environment and aid organisations. They apply for a loan or ask for an advance on a salary, but these are short-term solutions that ultimately ensure that the road out of trouble becomes longer.
Help from the social network or help from the Youth & Family Centre
By looking for solutions within your social network help can be offered in an approachable manner. When people register with the Youth & Family Centre they will do the same. They provide for the counselling to jointly rely on help from the personal environment or to render things more transparent. If things are tight financially then it can, for instance, be examined if costs can be saved on petrol by car-pooling. For instance, if you know that the neighbour also leaves home every day at the same time to take her children to school then arrangements can perhaps be agreed on as to who drives when. Or perhaps the helping hand that is offered in the short film. It is only a small hand, but every meal that is free brings some relief. These kinds of simple arrangements or help offered result in direct contact and take people out of their isolation.
‘Relying on the social network breaks the isolation and that is the start of breaking the vicious circle’
The aid offered by the Youth & Family Centre is therefore customised. Every situation is different and it is examined per family where possibilities can be found to solve the problematic situation.
Food parcels and looking for work
Sometimes the situations are so dire that more help than from the social network alone is required. People are then registered with the Christian organisation Adra. Not everyone qualifies for this aid. If you pass the screening then you receive a food parcel for three months. Lessons are given in budgeting but also how the food in the parcel should be prepared. In the meantime it is expected that people register with the Werkplein (Work Plaza) of the Public Entity.
The government also offers support measures
Parents with children in secondary education with a joint income that does not exceed $ 1,250.00 per month can submit a request with the SZW unit for a school parcel. The parcel consists of vouchers for school uniforms, shoes, books, stationery, etc. If your child is in primary education then you can address the Public Entity. https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/social-affairs-work/social-relief/special-social-relief/school-supplies
The child benefit is a monthly amount of 40 dollar. In January 2019 this amount increases to approximately 60 dollar per month. All parents and carers with children aged between 0 and 18 are entitled to a child benefit, it makes no difference how much money they make. You can apply for this via https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/social-affairs-work/social-insurance/child-benefit
Special social relief
There is also special social relief. This is for people who unexpectedly have a big expense and cannot pay for this. The social relief employees assess (during consultation hours and home visits) on a case by case basis if someone is entitled to this. For instance if your refrigerator or washing machine breaks down and you have no money for a new one. Of if you are expecting but do not have money for a layette.