COVID-19 resources

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The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: d/Deaf and disabled children and young people

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing uses insight from Childline counselling sessions and NSPCC helpline contacts to highlight the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on d/Deaf, disabled and autistic children and young people. Key themes of the report include: worries about the pandemic; coping with coronavirus restrictions; learning during lockdown; returning to school after lockdown; family pressures; children experiencing abuse; getting support during the pandemic. The briefing reveals that coronavirus restrictions have caused disruption to young people’s routines, which has been difficult for some children to cope with and adjust to. Support services have been harder for young people to access during the pandemic, with services either closed or severely reduced. Where services were transferred online, some young people found it difficult to access them, due to their disability. Home learning has also presented several challenges for some young people, including accessibility of online lessons and reduced additional support. Some young people have experienced delays in being assessed for support during the pandemic. After returning to school, some young people found they were no longer receiving the same level of support as they had been given before lockdown. The pandemic conditions have put additional stress on families where a child is disabled. Some parents have struggled to cope with the demands of caring for a disabled child with reduced support. Some children have also had to care for a disabled sibling during lockdown. Some young people report being unfairly, and in some cases aggressively, challenged for not wearing a face covering, even though they are exempt from doing so.

Last updated on hub: 16 February 2021

Evaluating the effect of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on long-term care residents’ mental health: a data-driven approach in New Brunswick

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Long-term care (LTC) residents, isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the interRAI LTC facility (LTCF) assessment can inform clinical care and evaluate the effect of strategies to mitigate worsening mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. We present a supporting analysis of the effects of lockdown in homes without COVID-19 outbreaks on depression, delirium, and behavior problems in a network of 7 LTC homes in New Brunswick, Canada, where mitigative strategies were deployed to minimize poor mental health outcomes (eg, virtual visits and increased student volunteers). This network meets regularly to review performance on risk-adjusted quality of care indicators from the interRAI LTCF and share learning through a community of practice model. This study included 4209 assessments from 765 LTC residents between January 2017 to June 2020 and modeled the change within and between residents for depression, delirium, and behavioral problems over time with longitudinal generalized estimating equations. Though the number of residents who had in-person visits with family decreased from 73.2% before to 17.9% during lockdown (chi square, P < .001), the number of residents experiencing delirium (4.5%-3.5%, P = .51) and behavioral problems (35.5%-30.2%, P = .19) did not change. The proportion of residents with indications of depression decreased from 19.9% before to 11.5% during lockdown (P < .002). The final multivariate models indicate that the effect of lockdown was not statistically significant on depression, delirium, or behavioral problems. This analyses demonstrate that poor mental health outcomes associated with lockdown can be mitigated with thoughtful intervention and ongoing evaluation with clinical information systems. Policy makers can use outputs to guide resource deployment, and researchers can examine the data to identify better management strategies for when pandemic strikes again.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

Fractures in the Austrian model of long-term care: what are the lessons from the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic?

Journal of Long-Term Care

Context: The COVID-19 pandemic highlights limitations of long-term care (LTC) systems in Europe, which continue to be divided between health and social care, and between formal and informal care. Objective: This article focuses on Austria’s LTC sector and its critical features that became visible during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: The analysis was carried out via desk-research, which covered literature, on-going qualitative analysis of media coverage, and statements and reports by interest organisations and governmental agencies between March and August 2020. Where necessary, useful and feasible, update information on ensuing developments until the end of 2020 was added during a final revision. Findings: In Austria, the number of cases as well as the number and share of deaths in care homes were lower than in other countries until August 2020. Yet, the crisis brought several idiosyncrasies to the fore, most prominently a lack of support for informal caregivers and lack of acknowledgements of the rights of live-in personal (migrant) carers. We find that the COVID-19 crisis has shed light on the fact that existing inequalities are being aggravated by gender and migration issues. Implications: (i) The crisis highlights the need for better communication, integrated care and health information flows between health and social care; (ii) Clear guidelines are required to balance older people’s right to self-determination versus (public) health concerns; (iii) Increasing reliance on migrant carers from Eastern Europe has led to a dualisation of the LTC labour market in the past decades, which needs to be countered by increased quality standards and endeavours to fundamentally change the employment situation of live-in carers; (iv) Informal carers are vulnerable groups that deserve special attention and call for expansion of community services in long-term care.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

Devalued by forces beyond your control: experiences of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and visions for the future, from young people who are supported by Barnardo’s

Barnardo's UK

This research comprised 113 in-depth interviews with young people who are supported by Barnardo’s. The research explored young people’s experiences of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. While lockdown has created some positive changes for young people, it has, at the same time, been extremely challenging. Young people are struggling with feelings associated with lack of support, routine, freedom, social contact and boredom; these feelings are exacerbated for some groups. Lockdown has cut young people off from sources of support which can be critical in helping them to cope – schools, friends and family, support organisations and social workers. In some cases, there has been an almost total removal of protective structures. Losing the freedom to see family and friends is a particularly difficult consequence of lockdown. This has led to an increased sense of isolation, in turn impacting on mental health and wellbeing, in some cases exacerbating existing issues. Alongside this, restricted face to face interactions with known and supportive professionals has presented additional challenges and further adverse experiences for some young people, such as feelings of powerlessness and being unable to move forward, change, or control their lives. In some cases, lockdown restrictions have allowed for young people to better manage some of the pressures they face in life. Indeed, it is evident that there are some young people who, in spite of the immense challenges or marginalised circumstances that they face, have realised an ability to cope. In some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has made young people feel more appreciative of what they have, and the freedoms they enjoy. They express a vision for a better, more caring and understanding post-pandemic world. This includes reduced inequality and more consideration for the less fortunate in society.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

Supporting young children experiencing adversity during Covid-19

Barnardos Ireland

This guide supports early years educators to gain an understanding of the kinds of stresses and challenges children and their families may be experiencing in their everyday lives during the pandemic and the impacts these have on children’s wellbeing, learning and development. Covid-19 has also become a risk factor for children and some children have been more adversely affected than others by the impact of Covid-19 since it began. For many children such adversity is new, while for others, negative impacts of Covid-19 have been added to adversities they were already experiencing. A lack of access to the supports usually available in the community means that, for those families who would normally avail of such supports, the pressures are even greater. Topics covered include: the impacts of Covid-19 on children; children and stress; the importance of relationships; providing for play; the effect of the environment; supporting children with their behaviour; supporting the development of resilience; emotional co-regulation; partnership with parents; and observation and documentation.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

Housing, wellbeing and COVID-19: ESSS Outline

The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services

This evidence summary seeks to address the following questions relating to the dynamic between housing and wellbeing: How does housing affect wellbeing overall? How has housing impacted wellbeing during COVID-19? The link between housing and wellbeing has been proven extensively over the years. Poor-quality housing is seen to have a profound impact on health. The condition of homes, insecure tenure, and wider neighbourhood characteristics all have a considerable effect on health and wellbeing. Research over the last thirty years has focused on investigating: 1) the mechanisms through which specific elements of the built environment, such as indoor air quality, influence the health of occupants and 2) the relationship between the wider living context such as a neighbourhood, inequality and health. The link between housing quality and wellbeing is often considered in research from two perspectives: physical health and psychological wellbeing. Topics covered in this review include: housing, physical and psychological health and wellbeing; housing, nature and wellbeing; housing, deprivation and wellbeing; neighbourhood design; housing and community resilience; housing and COVID.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) (BSL)

NHS 24

British Sign Language videos explaining the steps to take to help avoid infection from coronavirus (COVID-19), overall wellbeing and self-isolation advice as well as the latest information on immunisation and screening services in Scotland.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

Protecting and supporting the clinically extremely vulnerable during lockdown

National Audit Office

This report looks at how effectively the Government identified and met the needs of clinically extremely vulnerable people to 1 August 2020. The objective of the shielding programme (the Programme) was to minimise mortality and severe illness among those who are CEV by providing them with public health guidance and support to stay at home and avoid all non-essential contact. Through the shielding programme, CEV people could get support accessing food, medicine and basic care.. The report sets out: the inception of the shielding programme (Part One); identifying clinically extremely vulnerable people (Part Two); supporting clinically extremely vulnerable people (Part Three); and outcomes and lessons learned (Part Four). The report finds that the shielding programme was a swift government-wide response to protect clinically extremely vulnerable people against COVID-19, pulled together at pace in the absence of detailed contingency plans. Government recognised the need to provide food, medicines and basic care to those CEV people shielding to help meet its objective of reducing the number of people suffering from severe illness and dying from COVID-19. There was impressive initial support offered to many people, with food provided to just over 500,000 people. Although the need to support was urgent, it took time for people to be identified as CEV, and therefore access formal support. This followed challenges extracting data from different IT systems and the understandable need for GPs and trusts to review the List of vulnerable people from their clinical perspective. Given the challenges in assessing the impact of shielding on CEV people’s health, government cannot say whether the £300 million spent on this programme has helped meet its central objective to reduce the level of serious illness and deaths from COVID-19 across CEV people.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

Isolation and loneliness among over 55s during Covid-19

Central and Cecil Housing Trust

Explores how the over-55s have been dealing with isolation and loneliness during the pandemic, based on telephone interviews with many residents living in Central & Cecil housing schemes. The report finds that many residents were coping admirably through the pandemic by staying connected with friends and family, going out for a walk or taking up a new activity or hobby; however, more than a third had experienced feelings of being isolated or lonely at least once a month since the start of the pandemic and 12.2% experienced this daily or weekly. Residents have shared advice to others to help feel safe, connected and engaged. Residents have also valued the many ways that C&C continue to offer opportunities to connect including through wellbeing check-ins, virtual fitness classes, arts activities and volunteering initiatives.

Last updated on hub: 15 February 2021

The online adaptation and outcomes of a family-based intervention addressing substance use disorders

Research on Social Work Practice

Purpose: This article compares outcomes of a family-based prevention program from its original in-person mode to an online mode in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrating Families!™ is designed to improve parenting skills, family functioning, and family relationships to break the cycle of substance use problems. Method: This mixed-methods, quasi-experimental study compared outcomes of in-person and online treatment conditions and content analysis of open-ended responses to a satisfaction survey. Results: Both groups showed improvement in outcomes, with moderate effect sizes and high satisfaction. Average scores of the online groups were generally lower than the in-person scores. Qualitative data yielded participants’ accounts of improvements in parenting behaviors, family relationships, coping skills, and knowledge insights. Conclusions: Despite the contexts of COVID-19, findings provided evidence that such relational group interventions can be feasibly administered online and can effect changes required to break the cycle of substance use problems and adverse family experiences.

Last updated on hub: 12 February 2021

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