The Good Support Program: an example of European solidarity from the bottom at the time of the COVID-19 crisis
The spread of the COVID-19 shows that some problems know no borders and that shared efforts for common solutions are needed. The EU is a complex system, with many decision makers with different opinions and wishes, such as Member State that are negotiating a way out to the current challenging situation.
The EU is not just about Member States, it is also about concrete projects on the ground, which receive EU funds, such as cohesion policy funds, to implement actions benefitting local communities and beyond. At a time of emergency, solidarity is imperative. And this is why an EU project in Poland called “The Good Support Program” which develops remote management of care services has decided to provide their innovative IT tool for free for the duration of the crisis, to help other European communities fighting the coronavirus emergency. The value of this project was already awarded by the European Commission with the title of RegioStars 2019 for the most innovative IT tool in social services.
How does the project work?
The Good Support Program consists of four types of activities: GOOD CARE, GOOD CARER, GOOD NEIGHBOR, GOOD FAMILY.
- ‘GOOD CARE’ allows to effectively and systemically manage people who need support or who give support and people covered by home quarantine with reducing the risk associated with personal contacts. Institutions managing field employees will get an IT tool for:
- remote coordination of field employees tasks as: volunteers, uniformed services, social welfare;
- managing database of people in need staying at home;
- controlling the support provided to them as the system can generate automatic reports of completed work.
- ‘GOOD CARER’ is a mobile app for smartphones which is used by the person who gives support. Good Carer is connected systematically with the tool Good Care. Thanks to this tool, carers can get to know where, to whom and when they are to help. The performance of commissioned tasks is confirmed by „ticking off” them in the program. In the system, the managing person has a preview of the location of employees/volunteers, as well as those under their care (e.g. people in quarantine).
- ‘GOOD NEIGHBOR’, also known as “Uber services in the neighbourhood”, lets people who want to provide help, such as walking a dog, shopping, buying medicines, connect with people who need help. You can pay for or provide support for free. The more people report their readiness to help, the faster the database of carers (certificated and not) will grow.
- ‘GOOD FAMILY’ allows for using the SOS neighbor system in the form of a button installed on a smartphone. After pressing the SOS button (widget), the message with the location of the needy is automatically sent to 6 people (such as neighbors, family, care institutions, public emergency number, etc).
The system was created as part of partnership project of the Science for Environment Foundation, the Regional Center for Social Policy and Caritas Koszalin and Szczecin under the Regional Operational Program of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship (Poland) for 2014-2020.
The project promoters are working on the English version of the app which will be available for download in the coming days for all interested users.