COVID-19 resources

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Re-making state-civil society relationships during the COVID 19 pandemic? An English perspective

People Place and Policy Online

State and civil society have had a complicated and inter-twined relationship for many years and this has arguably never been more evident than during the COVID 19 pandemic. This review article discusses how this relationship played out locally and nationally during the early months of the pandemic from an English perspective to consider whether we have witnessed an extension of pre-existing roles or a re-making of new ones. At a national level we identify the exacerbation of pre-existing adversarial relationships focussed on the scale and necessity of the government’s financial support package for civil society organisations (CSOs). At the local level we observe an extension of prior complementary relationships, with CSOs further embedded in local systems of decision making, co-ordination and service provision. This paper also identifies a newly visible and increasingly complementary local role for previously supplementary community-led CSOs responding to the needs of vulnerable citizens. It is unclear if the next phase of the pandemic will affect these relationships yet further, or whether these configurations will be preserved following the COVID-19 crisis, but it seems certain that the crisis will have a lasting effect on national and local state-civil society interactions in one way or another.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

Social work during the Covid-19 pandemic: initial findings

British Association of Social Workers

Reports the results of a survey of social workers conducted between 30 November and 31 December 2020 across the four nations of the UK. More than eleven hundred social workers, in a range of roles, took part. This report sets out the key messages, background and objectives, the methodology and the results of the survey. The findings show that intervention and early help for vulnerable adults, children and families is still not readily accessible, as 79% agreed or strongly agreed that they had encountered more difficulties in accessing essential support services for the people with whom they worked. This situation is compounded by the finding that more people are requiring social services, with 67.6% of respondents who worked in children’s services agreed or strongly agreed that they had seen an increase in the number of referrals and/or their caseload since the return to schools and colleges for autumn 2020. Against this backdrop of rising caseloads and depletion of support services, 77.7% agreed or strongly agreed that their experience of working under lockdown restrictions had increased their concerns about the capacity to safeguard/protect adults and children.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

I want to do well: a literature review of existing research on children and young people’s experiences of COVID-19

Achievement For All

The experience of children and young people during COVID-19 has been very different to that of adults. Very young children have missed out on early education experiences that are important to development and helping to close the disadvantage gap. Older children have missed schooling and time with friends. There is not yet a clear picture of the experiences of children and young people throughout the lockdown phase of the crisis. This literature review draws together the existing research, to help ensure that the voices, feeling and wishes of children and young people are considered in recovery planning and decision-making. The majority of the findings of this review relate to challenges and barriers faced by children and young people in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown. The findings indicate that young people are able to look beyond the immediate context of lockdown, home learning, and social distancing and retain a focus on their ambition to make the most of their lives. Similarly, whilst much research has focused on the immediate and ongoing risks and challenges faced by children and young people during lockdown, there are small islands of positive outcomes arising from our new social context and norms. The review also found that two themes were underrepresented in the body of literature: the experience of children in the Early Years (0-5); and the impact of lockdown and the return to school for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities in terms of teaching and learning.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the charitable sector, and its prospects for recovery

Demos

This paper explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the charity sector, its prospects for 2021 and beyond, and how the sector – with the support of the Government and grant makers – can put itself on a more sustainable footing as the UK recovers from the crisis. The report reviews the evidence on the impact of the pandemic on charity services and revenues, to ascertain how they have been adapting to and coping with this period. It also looks at the varying challenges for 2021 – those that directly result from the pandemic, the impact of the broader economic picture, as well as challenges the charitable sector was grappling with pre-pandemic, which will no doubt come to a head in the months and years which follow it. Section 1 presents the state of the charitable sector before the crisis. Section 2 then looks at how the pandemic has affected charity services and revenues. Section 3 discusses how the charity sector will fare in 2021. And finally, Section 4 presents a series of recommendations for the government, grant funders and charitable organisations respectively, to achieve more resilience, recovery and future growth. The report argues that the Covid-19 crisis will decimate the charity sector in the UK unless the Government takes urgent action. Without urgent and targeted intervention, grassroots charity organisations - those less likely to have adequate reserves - risk being wiped out altogether. At the same time, public giving throughout the crisis risks being used as a stopgap to fill widening deficiencies in statutory provision. The report calls on the Government to immediately announce a new short-term emergency funding package; urgently review existing Covid-19 policies; ensure that public generosity during the pandemic is used as intended; and provide longer term investment in the hardest-hit charitable sectors.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care

Department of Health and Social Care

Information for local authorities and adult social care providers on the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund during coronavirus (COVID-19). The purpose of this funding is to enable local authorities to deliver measures to supplement and strengthen adult social care staff capacity to ensure that safe and continuous care is achieved. It will further help the care sector respond to the workforce challenges posed by COVID-19 and will be paid directly to local authorities in England. This guidance sets out: the purpose of the fund; detailed examples of measures that this funding can be used to pay for, with advice for local authorities and providers on how to implement these measures and estimations of the resources required; information on reporting requirements.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

Homelessness, access to services and COVID-19: learning during the pandemic to inform our future

Healthcare Improvement Scotland

COVID-19 and the associated control measures have led to a change in the way health and social care services are being delivered. People experiencing homelessness already face many barriers to accessing services and the development of new models of service delivery, as a result of the pandemic, have the potential to exacerbate existing health inequalities for people experiencing multiple, complex needs. This report is informed by the experiences of people being housed in hotels and temporary accommodation as a result of the pandemic. It draws on people’s experiences shaped by COVID-19 and the changes to the way services are being delivered. The report identifies the barriers and enablers for access and highlights the key components to be considered when designing or delivering health and care services for people experiencing homelessness in the future. The report finds that providing people with accommodation enabled health outreach teams to engage with people that were previously hard to reach; interdependencies exist between services and the conditionality around access which prevents people from having their needs met in a coordinated way; trusted relationships play a critical role in supporting people to navigate and access services; traditional barriers to access were removed where statutory and third sector organisations worked together; the emergence of digital platforms to provide health and social care services presents opportunities to remove many of the traditional barriers to access previously experienced by people who are homeless. Learning from this research has shown that the most effective responses to supporting people to access health and social care services have been where statutory and third sector organisations have collaborated to provide services that are designed around people’s needs. These services were delivered in a way that helped to mitigate many of the traditional barriers faced, often by taking services to where people were.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

NetClean report: Covid-19 impact 2020: a report about child sexual abuse crime

NetClean

The first part of this report looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected child sexual abuse (CSA) crime. Section two of the report looks at why businesses and organisations choose to address child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in corporate environments. Findings from a survey of 470 law enforcement officers from 39 countries who work on cases pertaining to CSA crime indicate that the fallout from the pandemic has clearly affected online CSA crime and has had an impact on offline CSA crime. The surveyed police officers reported that lockdowns, social restrictions and school closures led to both adults and children spending more time online, therefore increasing the risk of online CSA crime. Confinement to the home meant that children may have been isolated with their abuser. During school closures, children did not have access to mandatory reporters, which according to the respondents affected the number of reports of offline CSA crime. The results also suggest that online CSA activity and online reporting has increased; there has been a moderate increase in actual CSA investigations; and COVID-19 has had an effect on the capacity to investigate CSA crimes. In addition, to identify the drivers for addressing CSAM in corporate environments, interviews were conducted with sixteen employees from sixteen businesses and organisations, who work in the areas of: sustainability, ethics and compliance, it security, human resources and legal. The interviews revealed that the companies’ core drive is to act as ethical entities, and this was furthered by their statements that they consider the drive to protect and safeguard children the most crucial reason for installing software to identify CSAM on IT equipment. Other drivers for addressing CSAM in corporate environments ranged from sustainability and corporate social responsibility frameworks, policy compliance and risk assessments from a compliance perspective, to IT security risks, brand protection and human resources drivers.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination in care homes that have cases and outbreaks

NHS England

Sets out factors for consideration before an immunisation team attends care homes that have an outbreak of COVID-19 infection.

Last updated on hub: 01 February 2021

Social isolation and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-national analysis

Gerontologist

Background and Objectives: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in social isolation globally, creating heightened levels of stress and anxiety. This study investigates the link between social isolation and mental well-being in later life, and how it varies across countries. Research Design and Methods: We draw on a subset of older adults from Global Behaviors and Perceptions in the COVID-19 Pandemic, a unique global online survey of 13,660 participants from 62 countries. We use mixed-effects models to analyze the data. Results: Social isolation (distancing) significantly predicts poor mental health operationalized as coronavirus-induced distress (p < .01). At the aggregate level, average distress varies positively across countries with higher numbers of coronavirus-related deaths (p < .10) and more fragile state capacity (p < .05), while varying negatively across those with more stringent anticoronavirus policies (p < .05). Finally, we report several cross-level interactions between social isolation and the total number of deaths (p = .025), policy stringency (p = .065), state fragility (p = .061), and globalization index (p = .071). Discussion and Implications: Our study shows that a proper understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the mental well-being of older adults should consider the moderating role of national context.

Last updated on hub: 29 January 2021

Helping amid the pandemic: daily affective and social implications of COVID-19-related prosocial activities

Gerontologist

Background and Objectives: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have prompted more engagement in prosocial activities, such as volunteering and support transactions. The day-to-day affective and social implications of these activities for adults of different ages are unknown. The current study examined associations of daily prosocial activities with affective and social well-being, and whether these associations varied by age. Research Design and Methods: Participants ages 18–91 in Canada and the United States (N = 1,028) completed surveys for 7 consecutive evenings about their daily experiences of COVID-19-related prosocial activities (formal volunteering, support provision, support receipt), positive and negative affect, and satisfaction with social activities and relationships. Analyses were conducted using multilevel modeling and accounted for a range of potential confounding factors (e.g., sociodemographics, work, family, caregiving, daily stressors). Results: Older age predicted more frequent formal volunteering, as well as more support provision and support receipt due to COVID-19. In particular, middle-aged and older adults provided more emotional support than younger adults, middle-aged adults provided the most tangible support, and older adults received the most emotional support. All three types of prosocial activities were associated with higher positive affect and greater social satisfaction on days when they occurred. Providing COVID-19-related support further predicted lower same-day negative affect. Age did not significantly moderate these associations. Discussion and Implications: Older age was related to more frequent engagement in prosocial activities during the COVID-19 crisis. These activities were associated with improved daily affective and social well-being for adults of all ages.

Last updated on hub: 29 January 2021

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