COVID-19 resources

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State of the Nation: understanding public attitudes to the early years

Ipsos MORI

This report seeks to provide an overview of the public’s and parents’ perceptions of the early years in the UK today. The study used a mixed methods methodology, with several sizeable quantitative surveys (predating and during the COVID-19 pandemic) alongside observational and qualitative research with parents and families. The report is structured around the key themes that emerged from the analysis: the importance of promoting education and dissemination of evidence on the primacy of the early years to parents, parents of the future and the whole of society; the need to cultivate and sustain more support networks for parents to enhance their mental health and wellbeing; and encouraging society as a whole be more supportive of parents, carers and families in the early years. Key insights include: parents recognise that they play a key role in their child’s development – the vast majority of parents recognise that children’s brains do not develop independently of their surroundings; a significant proportion of UK parents of a 0-5-year-old (69%) underestimate the primary importance of the early years – this could result in less active interaction with children in the early years and a more ‘passive’ approach to caring for children; parents find it difficult to prioritise their own wellbeing; feelings of judgement have a huge impact on both parents and their children – seven in ten (70%) parents of a 0 to 5-year-old say they feel judged by; support networks are crucial for parents – including on issues such as child health, nutrition, behaviour and sleep; the role of wider society and primary schools – parents of a 0 to 5-year-old tend to assume that the responsibility for giving children the best chance of health and happiness is purely theirs (58%), rather than the joint responsibility of everyone in society (20%) or the equal responsibility between parents and society (18%).

Last updated on hub: 30 November 2020

Virtual home visits during the COVID-19 pandemic: social workers’ perspectives

Practice: Social Work in Action

The home visit is a key aspect of child and family social work. Following the announcement of lockdown in England, all but the most urgent of home visits ‘went virtual’ overnight. During lockdown, we spoke to 31 child and family social workers across nine local authorities in England as they began to undertake virtual home visits. Here, we focus on social workers’ reflections on virtual practice and consider the possibilities, limitations and future implications of virtual home visiting.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Surviving being black and a clinician during a dual pandemic: personal and professional challenges in a disease and racial crisis

Smith College Studies in Social Work

I CAN’T BREATHE! Social distance! I CAN’T BREATHE! Stay six feet apart! I CAN’T BREATHE! Make sure you wash your hands! I CAN’T BREATHEEEE! When can I schedule a session? The duality of being Black in America and a mental health professional during a global pandemic is stressful enough; however, coupled with a simultaneous racial pandemic, the intrapsychic, interpersonal and professional responsibilities feel incessant. This article seeks to explore the lived experiences of two Black mental health professionals residing and providing clinical services in Los Angeles County during a dual pandemic. Utilizing autoethnography methodology, the authors will reflect upon their personal and professional experiences of being Black and a mental health provider during a dual pandemic. Special attention will be allocated to unpacking issues of systemic racism, White supremacy, White fragility, anti-racism and third space oppression while providing clinical services to White and Black clients and attempting to engage in ongoing self-care activities. In addition, the authors will explore recommendations examining the nexus between racial identity, social location and professional expectations during a dual pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

The four pandemics

Smith College Studies in Social Work

COVID 19 interacts with white supremacy, economic insecurity and political terrorism, adversely affecting many people and populations. This article considers the consequences of these four interacting pandemics and suggests that social work, particularly clinical social work, requires radical revisioning and decolonizing to be able to ethically and adequately serve affected people.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Young people in care: how lockdown provides a haven of security and belonging

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Amidst all the gloom and concerns about what effect the emergency lockdown measures associated with COVID-19 are having on children, there is a small group of young people finding positive benefits. Staff at one Scottish provider of residential services for children and young people who have complex needs, say young people are less distressed than before lockdown and many seem happier than they were before the measures were implemented. Daily life is less pressured. Staff are happier too. Lockdown is proving to be a catalyst for changes in line with the principles of Social Pedagogy which promotes the value of meaningful relationships that offer emotional and practical support.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Consequences for the child welfare system in Catalonia

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

How has confinement by COVID-19 affected the welfare system for children and adolescents? The aim of this article is to reflect on the consequences of the global pandemic on the child welfare system, analysing the main consequences on children, adolescents and educational teams. The context of analysis focuses on the author's experiences in the child welfare system in Catalonia (Spain) during the pandemic, through his work as a social educator and researcher. The purpose of this article resides, therefore, in the reflection and subsequent proposals with the aim of redefining the system and improving the care of supervised children and adolescents.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Problem posing during the COVID19 pandemic

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Starting a new residential childcare service can be a daunting task at the best of times and, it could be argued, even more daunting during the wake of a global pandemic. Located in North Ayrshire, Compass Child and Family Services is a small charity providing support to children and families. The charity’s first children’s house, named Taigh Araich (which translated from Gaelic to English means Nurture House), opened its doors to its first child during March 2020. The charity utilises the Social Pedagogy perspective within its philosophy of care and is beginning to connect the perspective to the Scottish context. In this article Joe Gibb, residential service manager at Taigh Araich, provides an overview of some of the learning that has taken place during the past five months. Joe concludes by arguing that social pedagogy and the GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) national practice model in Scotland, have an excellent fit in which a new residential childcare paradigm could emerge as society begins to make sense of the new normal that awaits its citizens.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Supporting the emotional wellbeing of adults in child care settings during the COVID-19

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

In order to provide an emotionally responsive environment for young people in care, we must turn our attention to the emotional wellbeing of the adults who look after them. The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of the emotional wellbeing of caring adults. This includes introducing processes within the workplace that can be adopted to support the development of self-care, such as developing skills in self-awareness, emotional literacy and regulation, enabling adults to be emotionally present and responsive to the needs of young people. This article reflects on the introduction of supervision, reflective practice and consultation within Aberlour Sycamore Services in Scotland, summarising a recent evaluation of these structures.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Fear, uncertainty and relational care in the face of COVID-19

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

This article was first published in the April 2020 issue of CYC-Online and is republished by the SJRCC and CELCIS by permission of the authors and the publishers of CYC-Online. The COVID-19 pandemic is testing our resilience and our ways of living and being together. Being open about the fear this situation has caused is the first step in sorting out how to handle what is happening to us. Those caring for others have a role in holding their fear. This doesn’t mean denying the threat is real, but means being honest, sensitive, and transparent with ourselves and others. In this challenging time, children in care need more of us than perhaps we think it is possible to give. They don’t need us to panic or give in to our own sense of overwhelm. They need us to show love and be a source of strength.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020

Relationships and resilience in the time of the Coronavirus

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

The Why Not? Trust for Care Experienced Young People is a charity set up in 2018, to support long term connections and relationships between young people with care experience and the people who matter to them. As well as individual connections, the Why Not? Trust is supporting young people, including young parents with care experience to develop their own community networks. These networks allow young people to access experiences and events which give opportunities they may not be able to access on their own. Their approach is based on a belief in being defined by relationships. The COVID-19 lockdown presented a challenge to relational engagements which are contingent upon being able to interact. Despite their fears they have managed to cope. The online world provided a way of maintaining contact and providing support with young care experienced adults. The experiences of the past few months helped the Trust better understand the causes of isolation and exclusion, but also to appreciate more than ever the value of human relationships.

Last updated on hub: 27 November 2020