The National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) on Monday signed a plan of action with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to cooperate on the evaluation of the family counselling centres operating in Balqa, Irbid, Ajloun, Karak, Mafraq and Aqaba.
“Our role in the plan of action entails assessing the capacities of the centres in reaching their objectives, in addition to strengthening the skills of the staff and their outreach coordination with other actors,” UNFPA Representative in Jordan Laila Baker told The Jordan Times.
“After assessing what the centres have on the ground, we will elaborate our recommendations and support the institutions to go forward with them,” Baker added, noting that “the NCFA and their centres are part of a larger strategy in support of family counselling within the community, which involves the Family Protection Department and other entities with a role in this matter”.
For his part, NCFA Acting Secretary General Mohammad Miqdadi said that “evaluating the quality of services provided in the centres will help us to identify the existing gaps in the service provision, and to outline some recommendations to overcome the existing challenges”.
Miqdadi explained that the NCFA started installing the centres in areas that lacked counselling resources in order to ensure that such services reach all families, women and children, adding that the centres were established in cooperation with national civil society institutions and associations with a focus on gender-based violence (GBV).
Since 2010, the council has inaugurated a total of 11 centres in the municipalities of Balqa, Irbid, Ajloun, Karak, Mafraq and Aqaba.
“They have been doing a very good job in coordination with a number of national bodies looking to support individuals and families in reducing the level of distress and violence in their lives,” Baker said about the NCFA, expressing hopes to “keep on working with them along with the Family Protection Department, the ministries of development and health and the police”.
“The overall plan of action is to offer that support nationwide, providing individuals with a place they can reach out to if they need information or any kind of support in cases such as domestic violence,” the official noted, adding that “having family counselling centres also helps in raising awareness within the community and preventing GBV cases”.