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Find answers to the most frequently asked questions by looking at the list below.

1.Do I need to have money to accompany a family ?

Financial implications are left to the discretion of the sidekick and depend on the situation of the vulnerable families. If the financial burden proves to be excessive, the sidekick may call upon the team and, together, they will find a solution to mobilise the necessary funds. 

The financial aspect must in no way be an obstacle to the interest in accompanying a family.

2.Where do we draw the line with regard to the expenses, as well as our commitment?

We will always have to meet expenses in the case of the vulnerable families. At the start of the relationship, the sidekick, with the assistance of the social worker, must spend some time with the family trying to understand how family members function, to get to know the monthly budget and the household expenses, and to establish priorities. The social worker’s support is essential when financial decisions concerning the unit need to be taken. The objective is to help empower those families in all aspects of their lives.

The sidekick should be aware that, at any time, he may decide to meet expenses which he considers urgent for the family, as far as his resources allow.

3.How much time must I devote to the project?

Once again, the issue is left to the discretion of the sidekick. Before committing himself, the sidekick completes a questionnaire where he indicates the amount of time he is prepared to devote to the vulnerable family. The sidekick must feel free to devote to the project whatever time he can afford.

4.What sort of support is provided by the psychosocial team ?

The social worker is above all the eyes and ears of the sidekick on the field. He is the one able to back up the sidekick in dealing with all the administrative and social formalities. He is the link between the sidekick and the family, and follows up on the intervention on the ground. He also supports each unit when there are problems or when important decisions need to be taken.

Moreover, the Lovebridge teams make sure that sidekicking is an enriching time for you and for your families, and that it will not weigh you down.

5.And what if I am not up to the challenge or if such a commitment becomes too cumbersome?

To wish to be involved in the project, to accompany a vulnerable family and to help in the fight against poverty: this is what matters most. One should not feel “guilty” for being unable to devote more time than others: it is at this stage that our social workers take over.

6.And if, after some time, our unit is no longer functioning?

During the Lovebridge pilot project, several units defined objectives and developed expectations that did not succeed. By mutual agreement within those units, it was decided to revisit the objectives, the action, the timeframe. On two occasions, in spite of the amendments proposed, the decision was taken to put an end to the accompaniment, and the sidekicks then chose to work with another vulnerable family.

It is important to always communicate with the worker on the field and with the team with regard to the difficulties experienced by the units.

7.How much time do I need before I can see changes in my unit?

There is no specific time for that, since the families are different from one another, depending on their situation and their priorities. Most of them have been living in poverty for several generations, so that changes occur very slowly and are barely noticeable. It is essential that the sidekick moves forward with the pace of the family, in a manner that respects the family’s resistance, concerns and capacities. Getting to know the family background helps the sidekick understand how family members function and what they believe in, and avoids preconceived ideas. What matters is to act in an agreement WITH THE FAMILY and not on its behalf.

8.How often must one meet the beneficiary family? Where?

The frequency of the meetings, as well the meeting place, is left to the discretion of the unit. However, the psychosocial team recommends, in addition to the individual meetings, a monthly meeting in a neutral environment between the family, the sidekick and the social worker, to be able to follow up on the progress of the intervention.

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