COVID-19 resources

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COVID-19 in Japan, Part 1: the impact on social foster care

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

In Japan, the response to COVID-19 was a soft approach with no enforcement, unlike the lockdown with penalties in other countries. The government's response was to temporarily close elementary, junior high, and high schools across the country. That impacted children living with foster families, and in residential care institutions for children (RCIC). This short article reflects on foster care in Japan during COVID-19. The study uses fictional cases of foster parents and RCIC constructed for research purposes. Although the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the challenges of social care in Japan, it also presents an opportunity for social change.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

Relationships and resilience in the time of the Coronavirus

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Coming together as a community is an important function for members of The Why Not? Trust, a charity which supports long term connections and relationships between young people with care experience and the people who matter to them. 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: 06 October 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on kinship care: evidence from the kinship care charity Grandparents Plus

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

The challenges faced by children in kinship care and their families have been regularly identified in research. Kinship carers look after for some of society’s most vulnerable children, usually whilst facing many adversities themselves. The COVID-19 global pandemic had a significant impact on kinship carers, placing additional stress on their already difficult situations. This article describes the work of Grandparents Plus, the leading charity for kinship care in England and Wales, to identify the impact of COVID-19 on kinship carers and ensure they continued to receive support. Data were gathered using three surveys of kinship carers in England and Wales, and through discussions with Grandparents Plus project workers and volunteers. Kinship carers reported feeling scared about catching the virus, and what would happen to the children if they fell seriously ill. They were exhausted caring for the children twenty-four hours a day without a break and they were worried about the uncertainties of living with a ‘new normal’. Grandparents Plus used this information to develop new and existing support services to meet kinship carers’ needs in the context of COVID-19. It is concluded that kinship carers need sustained support to develop resilience to protect against future unforeseen crises.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

Problem posing during the COVID19 pandemic: rethinking the use of residential childcare

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), offered a home 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: 06 October 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 situations 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: 06 October 2020

Before COVID-19: the effect of the 1918 pandemic on Scotland’s children

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

The erroneously named ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918-1920 was responsible for the deaths of at least 50 million people worldwide. Its point of arrival in the UK was Glasgow, Scotland, probably brought by troops returning from the battlefields of the Great War. The first infections were in factories and a boys’ industrial school and the first recorded deaths were of eight children at the former Smyllum Orphanage in Lanark. The British Newspaper Archive is a valuable online source of reports about the pandemic from local Scottish newspapers of the time, but there is more research to be done in the National Records of Scotland and in local archives. The authors welcome advice on potential sources of the effects of the 1918 pandemic on Scottish orphanages, children’s homes and industrial schools.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

COVID-19: 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: 06 October 2020

COVID-19 policy tracker: a timeline of national policy and health system responses to COVID-19 in England

The Health Foundation

This policy tracker documents national government and health and social care system responses to COVID-19 in England, and how they change over time. The full tracker includes data on what changes have been introduced, when, why, and by whom – as well as how these changes have been communicated by policymakers. Policy changes are tracked with respect to five areas – from health and care system changes to policy narrative, measures to limit spread, research and development and wider social and economic policy. The tracker is updated regularly and was last updated on 28 September 2020.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

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

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: 06 October 2020

Seeing the silver lining in the cloud: resiliency demonstrated by children in residential care in India during the Covid-19 crisis

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

The main priority during the COVID-19 emergency for Udayan Care, an NGO based in Delhi, India, is to quickly assess the risks and take steps to mitigate them so that the children and youth in the care system, and the care leavers, already unsupported and left in the lurch, do not succumb to the harsh realities caused by the pandemic. This article describes ways in which children and staff have been adapting to the difficult circumstances they are facing.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020