COVID-19 resources

Results 181 - 190 of 1465

Characteristics and well-being of urban informal home care providers during COVID-19 pandemic: a population-based study

BMJ Open

Objectives Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed many healthcare systems, which has hampered access to routine clinical care during lockdowns. Informal home care, care provided by non-healthcare professionals, increases the community’s healthcare capacity during pandemics. There is, however, limited research about the characteristics of informal home care providers and the challenges they face during such public health emergencies. Design A random, cross-sectional, population-based, RDD, telephone survey study was conducted to examine patterns of home care, characteristics of informal home care providers and the challenges experienced by these care providers during this pandemic. Setting Data were collected from 22 March to 1 April 2020 in Hong Kong, China. Participants A population representative study sample of Chinese-speaking adults (n=765) was interviewed. Primary and secondary outcome measures The study examined the characteristics of informal home care providers and self-reported health requirements of those who needed care. The study also examined providers’ self-perceived knowledge to provide routine home care as well as COVID-19 risk reduction care. Respondents were asked of their mental health status related to COVID-19. Results Of the respondents, 25.1% of 765 provided informal home care during the studied COVID-19 pandemic period. Among the informal home care providers, 18.4% of respondents took leave from school/work during the epidemic to provide care for the sick, fragile elderly and small children. Care providers tended to be younger aged, female and housewives. Approximately half of care providers reported additional mental strain and 37.2% reported of challenges in daily living during epidemic. Although most informal home care providers felt competent to provide routine care, 49.5% felt inadequately prepared to cope with the additional health risks of COVID-19. Conclusion During public health emergencies, heavy reliance on informal home healthcare providers necessitates better understanding of their specific needs and increased government services to support informal home care.

Last updated on hub: 10 December 2020

Child and family social work during the COVID-19 pandemic: a rapid review of the evidence in relation to remote leadership

What Works Centre for Children's Social Care

A review of the evidence on barriers and facilitators to effective remote leadership. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and associated lockdown, one key challenge for those in leadership roles is how best to support and manage their teams when working remotely. The review identifies five facilitators: leadership style – leaders need to be flexible, and provide task-oriented and relationship-based support; communication – needs to be regular and allow for the sharing of ideas; team organisation – leaders need to pay special attention to team coordination and set specific goals for team members; team cohesion – leaders need to be visible to all team members and facilitate (non-mandatory) social as well as work-related activities; and focus on team performance – leaders need to set clear goals, provide regular feedback and allow more time and flexibility around task completion. The evidence also suggests four main barriers to effective remote leadership, including: diluted and unequal leadership – the impact of the leader is likely to be diluted and previous methods of working may not be as effective, the demands of remote leadership may not be felt equally by female and male leaders; communication – there will be an absence of opportunities for informal discussions; team cohesion – conflict or fault-lines between team members may emerge; team performance – individuals will find it harder to collaborate and overall team performance may be less productive than normal.

Last updated on hub: 08 July 2020

Child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic: consequences of parental job loss on psychological and physical abuse towards children

Child Abuse and Neglect

Background: Job loss resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic presents significant risk for child abuse. Protective factors, such as reframing coping, may mitigate the risk of job loss on child maltreatment. Objective: The current study investigated factors associated with child maltreatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, including parental job loss, and whether cognitive reframing moderated associations between job loss and child maltreatment. Method: A community sample of 342 parents (62% mothers) of 4- to 10-year-olds (M = 7.38, SD = 2.01; 57.3% male) living in the United States completed online questionnaires regarding experiences with COVID-19, the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale, and the Family Crisis Oriented Personal Evaluation Scales. Results: Two logistic regression analyses evaluated predictors of whether parents psychologically maltreated or physically abused their children during the pandemic controlling for maltreating history, parental depressive symptoms, financial stability, parent age, parent gender, child age, and child gender. Parents who lost their jobs (OR = 4.86, 95% CI [1.19, 19.91], p = .03), were more depressed (OR = 1.05, 95% CI [1.02, 1.08], p < .01), and previously psychologically maltreated their children (OR = 111.94, 95% CI [28.54, 439.01], p < .001) were more likely to psychologically maltreat during the pandemic. Regarding physical abuse, a significant interaction between job loss and reframing coping emerged (OR = 0.76, 95% CI [0.59, 0.99], p = .04). Among parents who lost their jobs, the probability of physical abuse decreased as reframing coping increased. Conclusions: Job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant risk factor for child maltreatment. Reframing coping may be an important buffer of this association on physical abuse and presents implications for maltreatment prevention.

Last updated on hub: 21 January 2021

Child protection conference practice during COVID-19: reflections and experiences (rapid consultation September–October 2020)

Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

This rapid consultation aimed to explore how child protection conferences (CPCs) practice has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact this has had on the children, families, and professionals involved. The consultation included an online survey and a series of interviews; 492 professionals responded to the survey and there were respondents from 108 of 151 local authorities in England and 16 of 22 in Wales; 52 of the professionals were also interviewed; 24 parents responded to the survey and 14 of them were interviewed. Survey responses suggested that CPCs were mainly being conducted over video or by phone, while a substantial minority of professionals had attended at least one ‘hybrid’ conference, where some people attended in person, and others joined by phone or video. Overall, according to professionals, the positives and negatives associated with remote CPCs are fairly evenly balanced. The main advantages identified were: better attendance by, and improved engagement of, a wider range of professionals, as well as convenience in terms of time saved; some felt that CPCs were less intimidating for parents. The main disadvantages as far as professionals were concerned were: limitations in terms of the restricted opportunities for discussion and reflection; problems with technology; loss of a sense of seriousness; issues around parental engagement - this includes parents not always being able to understand what was happening and not being prepared or supported to engage fully - particular issues were identified for parents with learning difficulties and language or communication needs; overarching concerns around confidentiality and safety. The small sample of parents who responded to the survey or were interviewed were much less positive than professionals – all parents interviewed said they would have preferred a face-to-face conference.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

Child protection conference practice during COVID-19: reflections and experiences (rapid consultation September–October 2020): executive summary

Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

Summary of the findings of a rapid consultation to explore how child protection conferences (CPCs) practice has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact this has had on the children, families, and professionals involved. The consultation included an online survey and a series of interviews; 492 professionals responded to the survey and there were respondents from 108 of 151 local authorities in England and 16 of 22 in Wales; 52 of the professionals were also interviewed; 24 parents responded to the survey and 14 of them were interviewed. Survey responses suggested that CPCs were mainly being conducted over video or by phone, while a substantial minority of professionals had attended at least one ‘hybrid’ conference, where some people attended in person, and others joined by phone or video. Overall, according to professionals, the positives and negatives associated with remote CPCs are fairly evenly balanced. The main advantages identified were: better attendance by, and improved engagement of, a wider range of professionals, as well as convenience in terms of time saved; some felt that CPCs were less intimidating for parents. The main disadvantages as far as professionals were concerned were: limitations in terms of the restricted opportunities for discussion and reflection; problems with technology; loss of a sense of seriousness; issues around parental engagement - this includes parents not always being able to understand what was happening and not being prepared or supported to engage fully - particular issues were identified for parents with learning difficulties and language or communication needs; overarching concerns around confidentiality and safety. The small sample of parents who responded to the survey or were interviewed were much less positive than professionals – all parents interviewed said they would have preferred a face-to-face conference.

Last updated on hub: 15 December 2020

Child protection in a pandemic

Professional Social Work

Social workers Sian Miljkovic and Emily Hill share their experiences of working with children and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. Issues highlighted include: working from home during lockdown; concerns about lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) how the pandemic has impacted on the work of a child protection social worker. One of the key issues highlighted is that the services that keep placements going, for example CAMHS and schools have closed down and means that universal support for families that social workers that are usually in place have dropped away. This raises safeguarding risks, because other professionals or services are not seeing children and families, and puts added pressure on social workers to keep up with their caseloads. Other concerns raised include that children could be at risk in their homes because they are locked up with perpetrators of violence, with parents of drug and alcohol addiction, parent with poor mental health who cannot access the support services they had before. Concerns over contact arrangements during the pandemic were also raised. The social workers interviewed suggest that the workload for social workers will be even greater after the crisis is over, particularly in relation to domestic abuse. The social workers also discuss how they are using technology as best they can to continue working with service users remotely but note that this is dependant on families having technology and being online.

Last updated on hub: 21 September 2020

Child safety, protection, and safeguarding in the time of COVID-19 in Great Britain: proposing a conceptual framework

Child Abuse and Neglect

Background: Great Britain has the highest coronavirus death rate in Europe. While the pandemic clearly poses a risk to the lives and wellbeing of vulnerable groups, necessary public health measures taken to delay or limit the spread of the virus have led to distinctive challenges for prevention, family support, court processes, placement and alternative care. The pandemic has also come about at a time when statutory changes to partnerships have led to a reduction in the importance of educational professional representation in the new formulation in England and Wales. Objectives: In this discussion paper, we propose a novel and pragmatic conceptual framework during this challenging time. Participants: We consulted with 8 education professionals and 4 field-based student social workers. Setting: Bodies responsible for safeguarding have been working quickly to develop new approaches to fulfilling their responsibilities, for example through online home visits and case conferences. However, some communities have been highlighted as experiencing particular challenges because of the pandemic and its impacts. Protection of vulnerable children is increasingly dependent on individualised - and often pathologising - practice with a lack of emphasis on the importance of the social. Holistic consideration of the child is side-lined. Results: Our framework comprises two phases: pandemic and aspirational. Conclusion: The framework illuminates the importance of interconnected sectors and multi-agency working, the need for resilient and adaptable support systems, and the need to promote the importance of children’s rights and voices to be heard above the noise of the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 21 January 2021

Child safety, protection, and safeguarding in the time of COVID-19 in Great Britain: proposing a conceptual framework

Child Abuse and Neglect

Background: Great Britain has the highest coronavirus death rate in Europe. While the pandemic clearly poses a risk to the lives and wellbeing of vulnerable groups, necessary public health measures taken to delay or limit the spread of the virus have led to distinctive challenges for prevention, family support, court processes, placement and alternative care. The pandemic has also come about at a time when statutory changes to partnerships have led to a reduction in the importance of educational professional representation in the new formulation in England and Wales. Objectives: This discussion paper proposes a novel and pragmatic conceptual framework during this challenging time. Participants: This study consulted with 8 education professionals and 4 field-based student social workers. Setting: Bodies responsible for safeguarding have been working quickly to develop new approaches to fulfilling their responsibilities, for example through online home visits and case conferences. However, some communities have been highlighted as experiencing particular challenges because of the pandemic and its impacts. Protection of vulnerable children is increasingly dependent on individualised - and often pathologising - practice with a lack of emphasis on the importance of the social. Holistic consideration of the child is side-lined. Results: The framework comprises two phases: pandemic and aspirational. Conclusion: The framework illuminates the importance of interconnected sectors and multi-agency working, the need for resilient and adaptable support systems, and the need to promote the importance of children’s rights and voices to be heard above the noise of the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 08 October 2020

Child suicide rates during the COVID-19 pandemic in England: real-time surveillance

National Child Mortality Database (NCMD)

This briefing describes the findings from a real-time surveillance system (which was set up to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic) relating to child death by suicide in England during lockdown. The report identifies likely suicides between 1 January 2020 and 17 May 2020, and compared rates before and during lockdown (a comparison was also made with deaths occurring at a similar time in 2019). In 2020, during the 82 days before lockdown, there were 26 likely child suicides and a further 25 in the first 56 days of lockdown. In 12 of the 25 post-lockdown deaths, factors related to Covid-19 or lockdown were thought to have contributed to the deaths. While there is a concerning signal that child suicide deaths may have increased during the first 56 days of lockdown, the risk remains low and numbers are too small to reach definitive conclusions. Amongst the likely suicide deaths reported after lockdown, restriction to education and other activities, disruption to care and support services, tensions at home and isolation appeared to be contributing factors. Although the finding of increased risk is unconfirmed statistically, clinicians and services should be aware of the possible increase and the need for vigilance and support.

Last updated on hub: 27 July 2020

Child welfare in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – emerging evidence from Germany

Child Abuse and Neglect

Background: The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the situation and well-being of children and their families, while simultaneously affecting the ability of welfare services for children and youth to support vulnerable families. As measures of contact restrictions were introduced to contain the virus, and schools and childcare facilities closed, the potential risk to child welfare could hardly be overlooked. Objectives: Focusing on Germany, this article aims to explore some of the effects of the COVID-19 measures on children and families. Furthermore, it examines a number of key challenges for child protection practitioners. These include identifying potential cases of child maltreatment without the support normally provided by teachers and child carers; and establishing and maintaining contact with clients under physical distancing rules. Methods: The article is based on a review of German and English language scientific and journalistic articles, position papers from professional associations and other gray literature. It benefits from recently published (interim) results of empirical studies conducted in Germany, which explore child welfare issues in the pandemic. Conclusion: Under COVID-19, the child welfare system faces unprecedented challenges and uncertainty (e.g. (partial) loss of cooperation opportunities with key partners) whilst showing signs of remarkable resilience (e.g. child protection workers’ ability to adjust to new conditions). While the potential of digitalising work processes in child protection has become apparent in the pandemic, the proven continuous face-to-face contact between practitioners and their clients is neither dispensable nor replaceable.

Last updated on hub: 21 January 2021