COVID-19 resources

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Impacts of pandemics and epidemics on child protection: lessons learned from a rapid review in the context of COVID-19

United Nations Children's Emergency Fund

This rapid review collates and synthesises evidence on the child protection impacts of COVID-19 and previous pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks. It provides lessons for global and national responses to COVID19 and recommendations for future research priorities. While the evidence is limited, the findings suggest that there are various pathways through which infectious disease outbreaks can exacerbate vulnerabilities, generate new risks and result in negative outcomes for children. Outcomes are typically multi-layered, with immediate outcomes for children, families and communities – such as being orphaned, stigmatisation and discrimination and reductions in household income – leading to further negative risks and outcomes for children in the intermediate term. These risks include child labour and domestic work, harmful practices (including early marriage), and early and adolescent pregnancy. Lessons from previous pandemics and epidemics suggest that the following could mitigate the child protection risks: responding to children in vulnerable circumstances, including orphans (e.g. through psychosocial interventions focused on improving mental health and community-based interventions); responding to stigmatisation and discrimination (e.g. through information and communication campaigns and support from public health systems, communities and schools); investing in social protection to enable livelihoods during outbreaks and to counteract shocks; promoting access to health, protective and justice services, particularly for girls, who may be adversely affected. The report also argues that evidence generation strategies during and after the COVID-19 crisis should consider rigorous retrospective reviews and building upon monitoring, evidence and learning functions of pre-existing programmes.

Last updated on hub: 03 September 2020

Implementation of an algorithm of cohort classification to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Older adults living in nursing homes are the most vulnerable group of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many difficulties in isolating residents and limiting the spread in this setting. These researchers have developed a simple algorithm with a traffic light shape for resident classification and sectorization within nursing homes, based on basic diagnostic tests, surveillance of symptoms onset and close contact monitoring. The researchers have implemented the algorithm in several centers with good data on adherence. Suggestions for implementation and evaluation are discussed.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

Implementing E-mentoring with care-experienced youth under “lock-down” – a South African experience

Journal of Children's Services

Purpose: This paper aims to describe the challenges and potential benefits of moving a mentoring programme for young people in care and care leavers to an online mode of delivery in response to the South African Government’s efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. Design/methodology/approach: A descriptive account incorporating reflections from staff responsible for the move to e-mentoring and from South African and UK researchers undertaking an exploratory study of mentoring vulnerable youth at the time when COVID-19 restrictions were imposed. Findings: E-mentoring can provide an effective means to maintaining the essential elements of a well-established mentoring programme for young people in care and care leavers under government enforced “lock-down”. E-mentoring presents particular challenges and benefits in the South African context. Youth in care and care leavers have unequal access to a digital infrastructure, but this can be overcome by investment in resourcing, equipping and training carers, mentors and mentees. The geographical reach offered by online platforms gives young people access to a more diverse pool of mentors. Originality/value: Both care leaving services and the use of e-mentoring to meet the needs of vulnerable young people are emerging areas of practice and research interest. This paper brings the two areas together in the context of South Africa under COVID-19 “lock-down” through describing the response of one mentoring programme and highlighting the benefits and challenges.

Last updated on hub: 30 December 2020

Improving installation: how a new standard is transforming group living systems

Housing LIN

This viewpoint describes the support given to housing managers at the sheltered and extra care schemes that use grouped living systems and measures taken to improve standards for grouped living systems so they could digitally adapt to the new world of social distancing and remote working under Covid-19. All of a sudden, many site managers had to supervise their schemes from home or look after multiple developments and they wanted to know if they could log in and change the programming on their equipment virtually. Other managers were self-isolating and needed assurance that their system would dial the mobile of a colleague in their absence. The document also highlights how the new BS 8604-1:2019 – a social alarms standard for the design, installation and maintenance of specialised grouped living environments – has become a game changer.

Last updated on hub: 04 January 2021

In tough times, we need visions of hope

Department of Health and Social Care

SCIE's Chief Operating Officer Ewan King reflects on the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an explosion of innovative forms of care, mutual aid, online support, and organisations finding the agility they never thought they had to bring care to people. He explains how a set of products developed by the Social Care Innovation Network and published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence explore how best to support and foster innovation. This requires a new commitment to coproduction, maximising wellbeing and sustainability and self-directed support to create an asset based area; a place where everyone looks first for what individuals, families and communities can, or could do, with the right support, rather than focusing exclusively on their needs.

Last updated on hub: 24 June 2020

Including people with disability in the COVID-19 outbreak emergency preparedness and response in China

Disability and Society

With the outbreak of the COVID-19, China had to declare a public health emergency within a short time. In order to control and prevent further spread of the disease, China activated the highest emergency response level and has been implementing many draconian measures based on the Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases (LPTID). However, the LPTID lacks a disability perspective and overlooks the needs of people with disabilities during emergencies to a large extent. Combining the law and disability perspectives, this article analyzes different Articles of the LPTID and points out its inadequacies regarding the emergency preparedness and response plans in the midst of a major public health crisis. Besides, the experiences of some people with disabilities being affected are shared in the article. This article calls for nations to ensure amendments of their legal frameworks regarding public health and emergency preparedness fully engage a rights-based disability perspective.

Last updated on hub: 20 June 2020

Increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in staff working across different care homes: enhanced CoVID-19 outbreak investigations in London care Homes

Journal of Infection

Background: Care homes have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to suffer large outbreaks even when community infection rates are declining, thus representing important pockets of transmission. We assessed occupational risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among staff in six care homes experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak during the peak of the pandemic in London, England. Methods: Care home staff were tested for SARS-COV-2 infection by RT-PCR and asked to report any symptoms, their contact with residents and if they worked in different care homes. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on RT-PCR positive samples. Results: In total, 53 (21%) of 254 staff were SARS-CoV-2 positive but only 12/53 (23%) were symptomatic. Among staff working in a single care home, SARS-CoV-2 positivity was 15% (2/13), 16% (7/45) and 18% (30/169) in those reporting no, occasional and regular contact with residents. In contrast, staff working across different care homes (14/27, 52%) had a 3.0-fold (95% CI, 1.9–4.8; P<0.001) higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 positivity than staff working in single care homes (39/227, 17%). WGS identified SARS-CoV-2 clusters involving staff only, including some that included staff working across different care homes. Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 positivity was significantly higher among staff working across different care homes than those who were working in the same care home. We found local clusters of SARS-CoV-2 infection between staff only, including those with minimal resident contact. Infection control should be extended for all contact, including those between staff, whilst on care home premises.

Last updated on hub: 19 October 2020

Infection control during COVID-19: advice for social care

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Advice and training for the social care sector about infection control during the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Last updated on hub: 22 July 2020

Infection control e-learning course

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Video-based, easy-to-navigate, essential e-learning to help organisations prevent the spread of infection.

Last updated on hub: 07 May 2020

Infection prevention and control

Skills for Care

Learning resources for ongoing learning and development in relation to safe and effective care, infection prevention and control. Includes webinar recordings about Coronavirus infection prevention and control in nursing homes (3 April 2020); infection prevention and control Q&A session (14 April 2020) and links to other relevant resources for induction and learning and development.

Last updated on hub: 22 July 2020