Home budgeting through Covid-19

Finn Valley FRC and Springboard Family Support Project have put together another excellent booklet to help families through this tough time “Parenting Through Covid-19 – helpful hints to keep home life happy”. Here we share with you the article on family budgeting by Clare O’Kane Family Support Team Leader with Springboard

For many families, this is a very challenging time financially. Some of us may have lost our jobs while others may have had their hours reduced or their businesses closed. Some parents are now reliant on social welfare for the first time. Budgeting through this crisis is vital to keep spending on track. Whilst isolating at home you might find that you are spending more on food every week, but whilst you are spending more on food, electricity and fuel you could be saving money with less being spent on travel or childcare costs.

The budget plans that we may have been using prior to the Covid – 19 outbreak may now have to be altered. For example nights out, birthday parties and even hair cuts that you budgeted for, are now not happening so money will be saved here. However, children are at home now all the time and eating every meal with us, which will add to pressures at home.

By identifying and then prioritising your essential needs you can start your budgeting plan. Ask yourself the question, what does my family need? Consider if you need support with any of your outstanding debts? Keep a track or when your utility bills are due or when your meter needs to be topped up. MABS is a Money Advice & Budgeting Service and they are there to help you if you need some assistance.

You can contact your local MABS office or call the MABS Helpline on 0761 07
2000; Monday to Friday, from 9:00am to 8:00pm. MABS also have a great online tool and Support Advisors online that can help you with any outstanding debt or to even set up a budget plan for you. Find out more here https://www.mabs.ie/en/how_we_help/debt_and_budgeting_tools/ 

During this crisis there have been additional financial supports made available for anyone who has lost their job due to the Covid – 19 or have had their hours reduced. If you fall into this category then DEASP Income Support Helpline for Covid–19 can be contacted on 1890800024. This helpline provides information on available income supports for people impacted by Covid-19. The information team can advise on the most suitable income supports for your circumstances and help you make an application.

If you and your family require support in terms of food or clothing there are county wide supports in place:
• The national SVDP website  https://www.svp.ie/what-we-do/local-offices/north-west-region.aspx will give you the contact number for your local area.
• The We Care Food Bank in Letterkenny can be contacted on 087 1471325.
• There is also a Covid – 19 Community Response Helpline for County Donegal, they can be contacted on 1800 928992 or emailed on covidsupport@donegalcoco.ie.

Below is an example of a household budget plan. You can also make your own depending on what your income and outgoings are. A good way to start is with these headings.

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Food
  • Electricity
  • Bins
  • Heating

Remember you can download the whole booklet with more tips and ideas  here https://www.cypsc.ie/_fileupload/Documents/Resources/Donegal/FVFRC%20-%20Parenting%20through%20Covid%2019%20Booklet%202.pdf

https://www.cypsc.ie/_fileupload/Documents/Resources/Donegal/FVFRC%20-%20Parenting%20through%20Covid%2019%20Booklet%202.pdf

 

This article Home Budgeting through Covid-19 was contributed by Clare O Kane. Family Support Team Leader, Springboard

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.

 

The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.

 

In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

 

Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  

 

In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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