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Relationship support in Flanders: what and how?

Relationship support is usually only initiated when a family is already in the middle of a serious crisis. Wouldn’t it be more useful to focus on prevention? As instructed by the Flemish minister of Wellbeing, Public Health and Family Jo Vandeurzen we assessed the current situation concerning the known relationship support offered in Flanders. We brought together the most important stakeholders and asked them if and how they could support relationships more pre-emptively.

The research has been addressed several times in the media. In one article, Kathleen Emmery sums up some of the obstacles couples with problems have to deal with. According to her the media should urgently portray relationships more realistically and show that effort and thoughtful choices are important in relationships. Currently, the taboo on relationship problems prevents couples to talk about it and seek help. Help that is often expensive, because it is not reimbursed.

Reflection in policy

We find it encouraging to see that the Flemish government has explicitly stated in their coalition agreement to want to ‘break the taboo on relationship conflicts, to provide enough options of relationship support and to promote awareness of these options’.

Researcher: Kathleen Emmery

Sponsor: Flemish minister of Wellbeing, Public health and Family Jo Vandeurzen

On the right you can download the research report, the press announcement, and an article in the Flemish magazine 'Church & Life' (all in Dutch).

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