COVID-19 resources

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COVID-19: Insights and experiences from the sector

Social Care Institute for Excellence

SCIE has created webinars, podcasts, blogs and Q&As to hear insights and experiences from people within the social care sector.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

The Corona crisis and the erosion of ‘the social’ – giving a decisive voice to the social professions

European Journal of Social Work

The Covid-19 crisis hit the world at a time when neoliberal politics had systematically eroded social solidarity with their emphasis on unrestrained individualism. The collective measures necessary to contain the pandemic infringe people’s autonomy severely, and thereby expose the contradictory polarisation between individual liberty and the ‘common good’ which has arisen. ‘Social distancing’ has long become an accompanying feature of globalisation and the crisis threatens to deepen social, economic and political divisions and to herald a retreat to more divisive measures. The professional experience social work and social pedagogy have in dealing with the underlying contradictions and their specific knowledge on how to constitute social solidarity in conditions of justice and equality are now more than ever relevant in the post-crisis reconstruction. Their core message is that personal autonomy can only be achieved in the context of fair structural conditions, and these professions have a vital role in promoting the constructive realignment of both spheres.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

COVID-19 and social protection in Europe and Central Asia

World Health Organization

The COVID-19 epidemic is a health and a socioeconomic crisis without precedent. Governments across the WHO European Region and Central Asia have introduced a variety of policy responses to mitigate the consequences of the containment measures on well-being and the economy, employment and incomes, and on families and children who are not able to access social and health services. This discussion paper considers some of the key social protection interventions, including health protection, unemployment, family and child support, and measures against social exclusion and housing insecurity. Where comprehensive social protection systems and policies are already well established, they protect people from risks during normal circumstances, but are also better equipped to respond when emergencies hit and mitigate against social and health inequalities. The crisis is a moment of opportunity to accelerate long-postponed reforms in well-developed welfare states and to work towards the establishment of national social protection floors in countries whose social protection systems are still fragmented to ensure universal access to health and income security for all.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

Remote mental health interventions for young people: a rapid review of the evidence

Youth Access

Summarises current evidence of the impact and implementation of remote interventions to support young people’s mental health. Remote interventions include any form of support that is not delivered in person (e.g. telephone or video calls, online chat messaging or forums, text messages or emails). The review focuses on remote support that is delivered by a counsellor, or other practitioner and does not cover app-based or computerised interventions. Very few robust evaluations of remote support were identified; however, those included in this review suggest it can lead to improvements in young people’s mental health and wellbeing. There were examples of how these interventions can allow services to work flexibly and adapt their ways of communication to fit the needs of the young person. However, the findings suggest that using remote interventions as a replacement for face-to-face support (as was necessary during the Covid-19 pandemic) is problematic. Remote interventions were typically described as ‘brief’ and practitioners often did not have time to identify action plans or goals. The report suggests that training around the strengths of remote support, and the experiences of young people may be helpful. This should also be included in undergraduate and entry level training for mental health practitioners.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

Impact of COVID-19 on children and young people

Welsh Parliament

This interim report outlines the activity to date of the Welsh Parliament Children, Young People and Education Committee in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people. While recognising that children and young people appear to be less susceptible to the virus than adults, the Committee stresses that the wider effects of Covid-19―and the measures taken to manage it―have impacted their lives significantly. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the Committee has focused its efforts on the Welsh Government’s response to the pandemic looking at the following main areas: arrangements for ensuring continued access to education and childcare for children and young people; the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable children; the impact of COVID-19 on the physical and mental health of children and young people; and the impact of COVID-19 on higher and further education. The document argues that children and young people’s rights must be a priority in COVID-19 recovery plan in Wales.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

Children’s rights impact assessment on the response to Covid-19 in Scotland

Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland

This report presents an independent children’s rights impact assessment on the emergency (CRIA) measures introduced by Scottish Government and UK Government to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The report outlines the framing and context for this independent CRIA and considers the predicted impacts of the COVID-19 measures on children and young people’s human rights. The overview then looks ahead to issues as Scotland comes out of the crisis, lessons learned, and conclusions for responding to the challenges and ensuring that children and young people’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. While acknowledging that legislative decisions have been primarily concerned with protecting children’s, young people’s and their families’ rights to survival and development, the report looks at where such rights may have been limited unreasonably, and how such rights can be best addressed currently and into the future. It identifies three systemic issues that if addressed would ensure children and young people’s human rights are better respected, protected and fulfilled as the transition is made to the ‘new normal’. These are: law reform – COVID-19 has starkly highlighted areas of existing Scots law that are not compliant with the UNCRC; data and resources – for example, disaggregated data is needed to understand impact on children and young people from Gypsy/Traveller communities; asylum seeking, refugee and migrant children and young people; and those living in families affected by disability; and improving children’s rights impact assessments – ensuring for instance that they pay greater attention to children’s best interests, non-discrimination and participation.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

You-COPE: disruptions experienced by young people aged 16-24 during first months of the COVID-19 lockdown

University College London (UCL)

This briefing presents results from the first 1,274 respondents to the You-COPE initial survey, which seeks to understand how young people aged 16-24 in the UK are being impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The briefing focuses on two aspects of ‘change’ as reported in the first wave of the survey: (a) changes to income, education/employment and living situation and (b) disruptions to access to health services. The analysis shows that 31% of people reported that their income had decreased during the lockdown, compared to less than one in ten whose income had increased; 78% of respondents reported their normal educational/employment activities had changed; and 24.4% of young people reported changes to their living situation. Respondents aged over 18, and those reporting previous mental health problems, were more likely to report changes in their living situation. Of those receiving ongoing healthcare, 41% reported that it had been disrupted – females and those with previous mental health problems were more likely to report disruptions to their care. Of those receiving mental health care, 58% reported disruption to these services.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

You-COPE: mental health consequences experienced by young people aged 16-24 during first months of the COVID-19 lockdown

University College London (UCL)

This briefing presents results from the first 1,507 respondents to the You-COPE initial survey, which seeks to understand how young people aged 16-24 in the UK are being impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The briefing focuses on two particular aspects of ‘change’ as reported in the first wave of the survey: (a) relationships, social media and feelings of connection in relation to mental health and (b) expectations, wellbeing and mental health during the pandemic. The analysis shows that half of the participants reported higher levels of stress since lockdown. 94% of the participants expected changes in their lives to some extent once the current crisis is over – of these 6% expected a complete change in their lives. Almost one in two respondents without previous mental health problems reported high levels of depressive symptoms and one in three reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. One in two reported overeating in response to their mood during lockdown. Around half of the participants would ask for help if needed for a personal or an emotional problem from a partner, a friend or a parent; one in three would ask for help from a mental health professional and around one in three would not ask for help.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

Supervision and social care practice in the time of COVID-19

Research In Practice: Dartington

A suite of resources to support supervision in the context of COVID-19. The pandemic, and consequent need for social distancing, have required a reorganisation of every aspect of social care practice, including supervision. The resources are intended to strengthen the effectiveness of remote supervision, building resilience, working with people who are experiencing grief and loss, as well as thinking about social work in the context of a crisis.

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Department of Health and Social Care

This guidance outlines COVID-19 advice for commissioners and service providers involved in assisting people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol or both. People who misuse or are dependent on drugs and alcohol may be at increased risk of becoming infected, and infecting others, with COVID-19. They may also be more vulnerable to poor health outcomes due to underlying physical and mental health conditions, as well as mental health issues associated with lockdown. The document sets out practice guidance on wide range of aspects, covering: symptoms; protection against infection; considerations for people using drugs or alcohol; children and families; mental health; access to opioid substitution treatment (OST); needle and syringe programmes (NSPs); drug detoxification; alcohol harm reduction and detoxification; non-medical support; those not in drug and alcohol treatment; what else commissioners and providers of drug and alcohol treatment services can do; and cleaning and waste. The guide also signposts to additional sources of information and advice. [Published 15 April 2020. Last updated 7 April 2021]

Last updated on hub: 23 July 2020

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