COVID-19 resources

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The After Party evaluation report on a socially distanced care home project: March – July 2020

Magic Me

This evaluation summarises outcomes for those involved in The After Party project, including care home residents and staff, volunteers, artists and staff from the care providers; and provides a short overview of Magic Me’s Cocktail in Care Homes (CICH) project, with a focus on the context of how The After Party began. The study also includes learning and suggestions for future work, in light of outcomes and learning from The After Party. For over 10 years Magic Me trained volunteers who were seeking connections with their local communities to come into their local care homes and have a party with residents. The After Party was developed as a way of keeping up the links with these key CICH sites during the pandemic, in place of the planned last few parties to mark the end of the CICH programme. Each month, After Party care partners received newsletters from Magic Me, which included artist actions and activities, alongside personalised messages from CICH Volunteers. After Party ‘care packages’ were sent via post by the artists, which included creative activities and resources, physical items, i.e. letters, artworks and/ or physical representations of artworks produced by volunteers and the wider public who have taken part in the creative activities throughout the month. They are physical mementos for residents, staff and the home/scheme. The evaluation found that Magic Me provided very easy to use care packages which met the needs of residents, were helpful to care staff, motivated volunteers and generated a great deal of happiness and interaction at a very difficult time. Benefits were felt by all involved. Although it was impossible to create the same sense of connection as when meeting face to face, it seems that The After Party managed to capture some of the energy and colour of the CICH parties and this was transferred into the online project.

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

The annual report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2019/20


This Annual Report looks at schools, early years, further education and skills and children’s social care for the academic year 2019 to 2020. Ofsted’s findings are based on inspection evidence from inspections of, and visits to, schools, colleges and providers of social care, early years and further education and skills. The report also draws on findings from research and analysis this year. The report reflects an year of two halves (the ‘pre-COVID’ period from September 2019 to March 2020, and the ‘post-COVID’ period that followed) and insights from each period, but also highlights the commonalities across time and remits. Sections include a commentary of the findings; data on Ofsted’s activities; early years and childcare providers; schools; further education and skills; social care. Inspections under the education inspection framework (EIF) started in September 2019. Ofsted judgements of overall effectiveness remained high and largely unchanged. The concerns of some that the new framework would lead to turbulence in inspection grade profiles have not been borne out. Overall, half of the 151 local authority children’s services in England have now been judged to be good or outstanding. This is an increase from just over one third after each local authority’s first inspection under the single inspection framework (SIF). The percentage judged inadequate is also lower, at 14%. Inspections of children’s homes, under the social care common inspection framework (SCCIF), show that the vast majority of homes (80%) are currently good or outstanding. SEND inspections, on the other hand, point to a lack of a coordinated response from education and health services in many local areas.

Last updated on hub: 03 December 2020

The challenge of 2020: supporting care leavers in Scotland during the pandemic and beyond

Scottish Care Leavers Covenant Alliance

This briefing paper aims to highlight some of the key issues and possible solutions relating to support for care leavers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing together learning from the work of SCLC Alliance partners and their extensive networks, it offers a number of recommendations, and prioritises steps to improve the lives of care leavers. This COVID-19 health pandemic has exposed, highlighted and exacerbated many of the structural disadvantages and inequalities which care leavers and care experienced young adults already face. The paper identifies and discusses four key priority areas: digital inclusion; continuing care, housing and accommodation; mental health; relationship-based practice. It sets out a number of recommendations, including: ensuring digital connection is regarded as a right; ensuring robust and consistent rights-based and needs-led approaches are taken to support young people moving on to more interdependent living; supporting relevant community-based projects to promote mental wellbeing amongst care leavers; and developing enabling environments for relationship-based practice to flourish and ensuring that positive approaches developed in response to COVID-19 are supported to continue.

Last updated on hub: 02 November 2020

The challenges of COVID‐19 for divorcing and post‐divorce families

Family Process

COVID‐19 and the accompanying procedures of shelter‐in‐place have had a powerful effect on all families but have additional special meanings in the context of families contemplating divorce, divorcing, or carrying out postdivorce arrangements. This paper explores those special meanings for these families. It also offers suggestions for couple and family therapists involved in helping these families during the time of COVID‐19.

Last updated on hub: 14 October 2020

The challenges of COVID‐19 for people with dementia with Lewy bodies and family caregivers

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Commentary. During the current SARS‐CoV‐2 pandemic dementia has been identified as disproportionally common in adults aged over 65 who develop severe COVID‐19. This perspective makes three key points: the physical, cognitive and neuropsychiatric challenges associated with dementia with Lewy bodies make people particularly vulnerable to COVID‐19; adverse effects may also occur from social isolation, the under‐treatment of existing DLB related symptoms/problems and the negative impact on caregivers and; a vigilant multi‐disciplinary approach is needed to meet the health and psychosocial needs of people with DLB and support family caregivers.

Last updated on hub: 21 December 2020

The Children's Social Care (Coronavirus) (Temporary Modification of Children's Social Care) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

Northern Ireland Assembly

These regulations, which apply to procedures within children’s social care in Northern Ireland, put in place emergency arrangements to protect looked after children, their families, foster parents and social care staff from the Coronavirus. They make temporary modifications to Health and Care Trusts’ statutory functions in respect of looked after children, including some children awaiting adoption, and care leavers. The modifications apply to certain Regulations made under the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987, the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and the Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003. The regulations come into force on 7 May 2020.

Last updated on hub: 14 May 2020

The concept of care: insights, challenges and research avenues in COVID-19 times

Journal of European Social Policy

This review focuses on the concept of care, a concept that has never been more popular as a focus of study. It undertakes a critical review, motivated by the breadth of the field and the lack of coherence and linkages across a diverse literature. The review concentrates first on organizing and reviewing the literature in terms of key focus and, second, drawing out the strengths and weaknesses of existing work and making suggestions for how future work might proceed in COVID-19 times. While the existing literature offers many insights, some quite basic things need to be reconsidered, not least definition and conceptualization. Defining care as based on the meeting of perceived welfare-related need, I develop it as comprising need, relations/actors, resources and ideas and values. Each of these dimensions has an inherent disposition towards the study of inequality and it is possible, either by looking at them individually or all together, to identify care as situated in relations of relative power and inequality. The framework allows a set of critical questions to be posed in relation to COVID-19 and the policies and resources that have been mustered in response.

Last updated on hub: 27 January 2021

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

The Coronavirus and the risks to the elderly in long-term care

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

The elderly in long-term care (LTC) and their caregiving staff are at elevated risk from COVID-19. Outbreaks in LTC facilities can threaten the health care system. COVID-19 suppression should focus on testing and infection control at LTC facilities. Policies should also be developed to ensure that LTC facilities remain adequately staffed and that infection control protocols are closely followed. Family will not be able to visit LTC facilities, increasing isolation and vulnerability to abuse and neglect. To protect residents and staff, supervision of LTC facilities should remain a priority during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 31 August 2020

The coronavirus pandemic and immigrant communities: a crisis that demands more of the social work profession

Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work

As the coronavirus pandemic has taken over matters of life and death globally, immigrant communities were some of the most deeply impacted. In the United States (U.S.), Latinx immigrants and other minorities have experienced greater economic burden and worse health outcomes, resulting in alarming rates of death from COVID-19. Yet the government’s relief measures to support individuals did not extend to millions of immigrants. This left many immigrants with the cruel choice to either stay home to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus or go to work to support their families. Disregard for a large segment of the population is further complemented by strict immigration policies, harsher border restrictions, and public health guidelines that failed to account for the realities faced by immigrants. This brief highlights the unequal toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigrants and consider social work response. This paper argues that the pandemic demands more of the social work profession, as the coronavirus crisis exposed more clearly the systemic inequalities toward immigrants and aggravates their vulnerabilities. Insofar as systems are unequal and racist in the context of coronavirus, there is a great need for social work response that is innovative, brave, and deeply connected to communities.

Last updated on hub: 21 January 2021

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