COVID-19 resources

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with learning disabilities and / or autism, their family carers and service provision: a rapid learning review

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

This report aims to reflect and build on the work of ADASS regions in supporting people living with learning disabilities and / or autism, and their carers during the COVID pandemic. It is a rapid qualitative review, using semi-structured interviews and a roundtable event to capture professional perspectives after a year of exceptional challenges. A strong view emerged that the early stages of the national COVID-19 social care response was driven exclusively by a focus on older adults living in care homes – people with learning disability or autism were perceived to be an after-thought by government, reflected in the lateness and fragmentary nature of national guidance, testing and PPE relating to these groups of adults. This was considered a reflection of the long-standing weaker policy focus on this community more generally. As social care and health staff were redeployed into different roles, a gap was exposed in the knowledge, skills and competencies around learning disability, autism and neurodiversity across the general social care, health care and housing workforce. The loss of contact with friends, daily activities and routines has exacerbated pre-existing health and wellbeing challenges for people with learning disabilities and / or autism. Increases in (or new) anxiety and depression were reported, alongside boredom and frustration. Market development was highlighted as a priority issue in numerous interviews, with the initial focus on reshaping day opportunities and short-breaks / respite. The recurring theme was to achieve a shift away from building-based support to buildings used as hubs/pods and / or increasing the availability of outreach. This was seen as a collaborative process with providers to diversify and flex what it is possible to offer for adults with learning disabilities or autism, including the development of micro-providers/PAs.

Last updated on hub: 24 May 2021

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) services in England

British Association of Social Workers

Based on responses to a survey from 100 Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) services across England, which account for 75% of the local authorities across the country, this report explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health professionals and services. The survey questions focused on changes in demand for Mental Health Act (MHA) assessments both during the first lockdown and following the easing of restrictions, the possible reasons for the changes and the impact of the pandemic and the resulting restrictions on staff. Most respondents reported an increase in assessments overall, particularly during the lockdown period and into the post-lockdown period in summer. This amounts to a higher level of demand than prior to the pandemic. Many services identified a significant increase in ‘first-time presentations’ of people who had not been previously known to mental health services. Concern was expressed from many respondents that withdrawal of face-to-face visits and monitoring by community services, and reduction of contact to telephone only, led to requests for MHA assessments which would not otherwise have been made and which did not warrant consideration of detention in hospital. During the lockdown many professionals moved to working from home, raising a number of issues in relation to support, supervision and management, particularly in the context of MHA assessment referrals, which by definition entail high risk with a need for rapid information gathering and assessment. Many respondents reported greater difficulty in accessing admission beds, possibly due to the need to isolate patients who were COVID-positive or at risk of being. Many areas found section 12 approved doctors less available, due to shielding, isolation or redeployment to COVID duties. Some ambulance services reduced or stopped providing transportation for mental health patients, leading to some services starting or increasing their use of private ambulance services.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on equalities and human rights

British Association of Social Workers

Joint submission from Social Work Scotland and Scottish Association of Social Work to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee Inquiry into impact of the pandemic on human rights bringing together the views of frontline social workers and managers who are employed in the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as those operating as independent practitioners. Key points include: while acknowledging that COVID-19 has manifested some new equality and human rights issues, overwhelmingly its impact has been to exacerbate existing inequalities and lay bare the fragility of the systems (services, people) who protect and give meaning to human rights; the many different dimensions of social inequalities create overlapping layers of disadvantage, which are multiple for many people; COVID-19 has restricted social work’s ability to perform critical functions, due to staff absence, work-from-home restrictions, limited PPE; the pandemic has revealed the limitations of a ‘rights bearer’ and ‘duty holder’ framing of human rights – corporate bodies, such as local authorities, may hold duties to uphold rights, but those corporate bodies are in reality just organised groups of people, all with their own needs, vulnerabilities and rights; just as people rely on other people to give meaning to their human rights, the rights of different individuals can sometimes be in tension, or even conflict, with each other; the virus, its impact on people’s health, and the impact of the measures taken to contain its spread, have most affected least advantaged in our society.

Last updated on hub: 22 February 2021

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intercountry adoption and international commercial surrogacy

International Social Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented economic, health and social impacts as it has swept the globe. Intercountry adoption and international surrogacy are practices immediately affected, furthering vulnerabilities of children and vulnerable adults. This short report calls attention to heightened risks, raises awareness for practitioners in these fields and asserts the need for caution.

Last updated on hub: 17 September 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social work education and practice in the Netherlands

Social Work Education (The International Journal)

During the first half of 2020, the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus had a huge global impact. The physical health of many was (often severely) threatened and affected, resulting in numerous deaths. Furthermore, all aspects of human coexistence came under pressure, such as economic activities and material living conditions, psychological well-being and social contacts, human rights and democratic decision-making, international political relations and global solidarity. As in other parts of the world, COVID-19 kept the Netherlands in its grip. This article addresses the following questions:-What impact did pandemic and policy have on Dutch social work education and how was this experienced by students?-What was the impact of pandemic and policy on social work practices and what were its challenges for social professionals?-What does this all mean for the future of social work education, since it has to take the present concerns of students into account as well as prepare them for social work practice in the near future?

Last updated on hub: 12 November 2020

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


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

The impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the mental health and well‐being of children and young people

Children and Society

The COVID‐19 pandemic has had an enormous impact across the world. This discussion paper examines the effect that lockdown has had on the mental health and well‐being of children and young people. This paper is from a UK perspective in the light of the international evidence. Many of the discussion points raised resonate globally. This paper discusses how these issues can be dealt with and set out potential solutions as we emerge from this global crisis.

Last updated on hub: 15 January 2021

The impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the mental health and well‐being of children and young people

Children and Society

The COVID‐19 pandemic has had an enormous impact across the world. In this discussion paper, we examine the effect that lockdown has had on the mental health and well‐being of children and young people. We write from a UK perspective in the light of the international evidence. Many of the discussion points raised resonate globally. We discuss how these issues can be dealt with and set out potential solutions as we emerge from this global crisis.

Last updated on hub: 16 January 2021

The impact of the first UK Covid-19 lockdown on carers and people living with low prevalence dementia: results from the Rare Dementia Support survey


Introduction The public health measures imposed to contain Covid-19 during the first UK lockdown resulted in significant changes in the provision of community support and care for people with dementia. People with low prevalence and young-onset dementias often experience non-memory, behavioural or neuropsychiatric symptoms that require specialised support. Objective This study explored the impact of the first Covid-19 lockdown on people living with low prevalence and young-onset dementia and their carers in the UK. Method An online survey, including eleven questions about the impact of the lockdown on both the person with dementia and their family caregivers was conducted. Participants were people living with dementia and caregivers who are members of the UK national-reach organisation Rare Dementia Support. Results 184 carers and 24 people with dementia completed the survey. People with dementia experienced worsening of cognitive symptoms (70%), ability to do things (62%) and well-being (57%) according to their carers. Carers also reported a reduction in the support received for caring (55%). 93% of carers of people living in care homes reported a reduction in their ability to provide care. 26% of carers reported changes in the medication of the person with dementia during the lockdown. 74% of people with dementia reported decreased ability to connect with people socially. Conclusions People with dementia experienced a worsening of dementia symptoms, removal of support and increased difficulty to connect with other people socially during the 1st wave of Covid-19. Carers encountered barriers to both receiving and providing support and a decline in their own mental health and well-being.

Last updated on hub: 15 January 2021

The impact of the outbreak

Professional Social Work

As the coronavirus pandemic escalated in the UK, more than a thousand social workers alerted the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) to the effect on services and communities. The survey was conducted before the UK government announced a three-week lockdown in March 2020. Key concerns raised by social workers were: the safety of or protecting people and their rights; trying to prioritise home visits and operate rotas so that face-to-face calls are limited to urgent cases only. Many respondents said they themselves were in groups at heightened risk of coronavirus or lived with someone who was. Where possible, social workers said they were trying to carry out assessments or maintain contact with people using technology. Hospital social workers reported that the crisis was hitting efforts to support people to move out of hospital. The impact on social work education is also covered. Amid the immense pressures on social work services, many social workers said they had been buoyed by the efforts of communities to come together and support each other during the crisis. When asked, what would help social workers? Practitioners across specialisms called for more leadership, guidance and advice on how to carry out their jobs.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

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