Springing into action

In emergencies local authorities have a leading role in establishing key humanitarian assistance facilities. The lead departments for the humanitarian response will be social services and education services.

Responsibility for securing suitable premises for a family assistance centre rests with local authorities, who will meet the costs for the centre. The role of the family assistance centre will be more comprehensive and long term than centres set up immediately after an incident.

Social services will need to plan and manage provisions for meeting the psychological and social needs arising in their communities following a major emergency.

The purpose of a family assistance centre is to:

  • Act as a focal point for humanitarian assistance to bereaved families, friends and survivors and anyone else affected.
  • Enable those affected to gain as much information as is available.
  • Offer access to a range of facilities to help people make informed choices.

    Source: Humanitarian Assistance in Emergencies: Guidance on Establishing Family Assistance Centres. From www.ukresilience.info

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