FIRST WAVE RESULTS: WELL-BEING OF FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

This section contains the main results of the study, reflecting the change in the financial well-being of families with children in an epidemiological situation, the emotional state of parents, as well as the desired measures of government support.

WELL-BEING OF FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

More than half of Belarusian parents noticed an income decrease, this especially concerns families with low income and those who work part-time.
The crisis significantly affects families with children: every second parent had to postpone buying clothes, every fourth - to save on food. Only less than a third have not changed their behavior.
More than a third of Belarusian parents have signs of depression, every sixth parent – has signs of depression in mild, moderate or severe form.
Economic problems have become a determining factor affecting psychological wellbeing. Parents whose income has decreased significantly are more likely than others to suffer from depression: 25% of them have mild, moderate or severe depression, compared with 12% of parents whose income has not changed. Depression is more common among residents of small cities than among residents of large cities. There is a positive side: if the family goes in for sports or performs physical exercise, the rates of depression in children and adults is significantly lower.
Despite the fact that 57% of parents have experienced a decline in income, two thirds of parents are sure that epidemiologic measures should be taken first. However, those parents whose income has declined significantly more often note the need for economic measures (30% compared to 19% for those whose income has decreased slightly or remained the same).
Measures to counteract the spread of coronavirus infection include the transition to distance learning, the opportunity for solution of administrative issues online, providing free protective and hygienic means for people and the obligatory wearing of masks in public places - overall support for such measures is above 50%. Distance learning is especially important for residents in large cities, parents over 35, those who already work remotely, along with students and office workers.
Nevertheless, a decrease in income is a serious problem: 76% insist on state regulation of food prices; every second person needs payed leave, 44% need a delay to pay for communal services and targeted assistance in form of cash transfers. People employed in state-owned enterprises are more likely to support price regulation than those employed in the private sector (79% versus 70%). Parents with a low income (less than 250 rubles per family member) often insist on the possibility of a delay in paying utility bills: 48% versus 27-36% of parents with a high income (more than 500 rubles per family member). The availability to receive targeted assistance in form of cash transfers is more important for people with lower incomes: 48% versus 37%. The measure to provide free meals for children at school or kindergarten or the regular provision of such meals to families where children on distance learning is more important for students (37% versus 25-28% in other groups). The increase in unemployment benefits is obviously most important for the unemployed: 20% against 12-13% for workers.

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