COVID-19 resources

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Impact of COVID-19 on children and young people's mental health: results of survey with parents and carers


Sets out the results of a survey with more than 1,850 parents and carers, in which respondents expressed worries about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on their children’s mental health, and described the challenges they face in finding support. The results show that: most respondents were concerned about the long-term impact of the coronavirus on their child’s mental health; mental health, education and safety are among top concerns for parents and carers; many respondents do not know where to turn for support for their child’s mental health; a quarter of respondents whose children had been receiving mental health support in the run-up to the crisis said that their child was no longer accessing it; respondents believe that music, TV, family time and video calls have helped children to cope; parents and carers need more support; many parents and carers expressed concerns about supporting their child’s schooling.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girls

VAWG Helpdesk

A review of the evidence on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – and similar epidemics – might impact on violence against women and girls (VAWG). Evidence on the impact of the outbreak is still at a very early stage and not yet well documented, given that it begun in January 2020. However, some of the early indications are that there are several areas where women and girls are likely to be at increased risk of violence. These include: increased risk of domestic violence; increased risk of workplace violence in the health sector; increased risk of racial and sexual harassment (both online and offline); increased risk of abuse and exploitation for vulnerable women workers; increased risk of VAWG in emergency settings; and increased risk of sexual exploitation and violence by state officials and armed guards. Experience from past epidemics suggests the importance of a ‘twin track’ approach, combining support to organisations working directly with survivors and integrating VAWG into sectoral responses.

Last updated on hub: 30 June 2020

Impact of COVID-19 policy responses on live-in care workers in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

Journal of Long-Term Care

Context: The measures taken to counter the COVID-19 pandemic restricted the circular migration of live-in care workers between their countries of origin and the elderly persons’ households. Objective: In this comparative policy analysis, the impact of COVID-19 related policy measures for transnationally organised live-in care in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland is investigated. Method: Policy measures and media debates were analysed and inquiries with care workers, representatives of care agencies, unions, and activist groups were carried out between March and June 2020. Findings: In accordance with their institutionalisation of live-in care, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland responded differently to the challenges the pandemic posed to live-in care arrangements. However, all three countries focused on extending care workers’ rotas and re-establishing transnational mobility. These priorities subordinated the interests of care workers to those of care recipients. Furthermore, the measures remained short-term solutions that failed to acknowledge the fundamental flaws and inequalities of a care model that relies primarily on female migrant workers and wage differentials within Europe. Limitations: This policy comparison is based on an in-depth analysis of COVID-19 related policies, supplemented by inquiries among stakeholders with whom research had been done prior to the pandemic. More in-depth interviews are required to further substantiate the findings concerning their perspectives and gain insight into the longer-term effects of the pandemic. Implications: The pandemic has brought the flaws of the live-in care model to the fore. Countries need to rethink their fragile care policies, which build on social inequality and uninhibited transnational mobility.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Impact of COVID-19 related social support service closures on people with dementia and unpaid carers: a qualitative study

Aging and Mental Health

Objectives: Accessing social care and social support services is key to support the well-being of people living with dementia (PLWD) and unpaid carers. COVID-19 has caused sudden closures or radical modifications of these services, and is resulting in prolonged self-isolation. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of COVID-19 related social care and support service changes and closures on the lives of PLWD and unpaid carers. Method: PLWD and unpaid carers were interviewed via telephone in April 2020. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Demographic characteristics including household Index of Multiple Deprivation score and weekly hours of social support service usage before and since the COVID-19 outbreak were also collected. Paired samples t-tests was used to compare the mean of weekly hours of social support service usage before and since the outbreak. Results: 50 semi-structured interviews were conducted with unpaid carers (n = 42) and PLWD (n = 8). There was a significant reduction in social support service usage since the outbreak. Thematic analysis identified three overarching themes: (1) Loss of control; (2) Uncertainty; (3) Adapting and having to adapt to the new normal. Carers and PLWD were greatly affected by the sudden removal of social support services, and concerned about when services would re-open. Carers were worried about whether the person they cared for would still be able to re-join social support services. Conclusions: PLWD and carers need to receive specific practical and psychological support during the pandemic to support their well-being, which is severely affected by public health restrictions.

Last updated on hub: 15 October 2020

Impact of Covid-19 research: UK findings

Family Fund

Sets out findings from a research study to understand how the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting families raising disabled or seriously ill children in the UK, and their immediate concerns and needs. The paper is based on the results of two waves of online surveys, as well as in-depth interviews with a sample of families – the sample for the second survey consists of 2,531 families raising 3,279 disabled or seriously ill children. Key findings include: half of families have lost income as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and more than three quarters are experiencing increased household costs; many families are seeing any saving they had rapidly diminishing, with nearly three quarters of families now having no savings to fall back on; the situation around accessing essentials such as food and toiletries is improving, but many families are still going without; the availability of both informal and formal support for disabled or seriously ill children has hugely reduced, with limited signs of improvements since the lockdown began; the mental health and wellbeing of the majority of disabled or seriously ill children, as well as parent carers, is being negatively impacted, and showing signs of deteriorating as the lockdown continues; the biggest concerns for families are around educating and entertaining their disabled or seriously ill children at home and their children’s health and wellbeing. in turn, the priority items they require are things that can assist in educating and entertaining their children, as well as help meeting the cost of household essentials over the coming months.

Last updated on hub: 13 July 2020

Impact of easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on domestic violence and abuse

Social Care Institute for Excellence

A quick guide developed to provide practical ideas for social care professionals about the impact on domestic violence and abuse as lockdown eases.

Last updated on hub: 07 July 2020

Impact of infection outbreak on long-term care staff: a rapid review on psychological well-being

Journal of Long-Term Care

Context: Older people and people with an intellectual disability who receive long-term care are considered particularly vulnerable to infection outbreaks, such as the current Coronavirus Disease 2019. The combination of healthcare concerns and infection-related restrictions may result in specific challenges for long-term care staff serving these populations during infection outbreaks. Objectives: This review aimed to: (1) provide insight about the potential impact of infection outbreaks on the psychological state of healthcare staff and (2) explore suggestions to support and protect their psychological well-being. Method: Four databases were searched, resulting in 2,176 hits, which were systematically screened until six articles remained. Thematic analysis was used to structure and categorise the data. Findings: Studies about healthcare staff working in long-term care for people with intellectual disabilities were not identified. Psychological outcomes of healthcare staff serving older people covered three themes: emotional responses (i.e., fears and concerns, tension, stress, confusion, and no additional challenges), ethical dilemmas, and reflections on work attendance. Identified suggestions to support and protect care staff were related to education, provision of information, housing, materials, policy and guidelines. Limitations: Only six articles were included in the syntheses. Implications: Research into support for long-term care staff during an infection outbreak is scarce. Without conscious management, policy and research focus, the needs of this professional group may remain underexposed in current and future infection outbreaks. The content synthesis and reflection on it in this article provide starting points for new research and contribute to the preparation for future infection outbreaks.

Last updated on hub: 21 August 2020

Impact on delivering children’s services during lockdown

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Dannie Adcock-Habib, a children’s services practitioner, talks about the pressures of lockdown and the long-term impact on children's wellbeing, including looking out for concerning signs of abuse and neglect; how to work with multiple agencies to meet different children and families’ needs and distributing resources for parents and carers; potential child protection issues that may emerge as we transition back to pre-lockdown life; how children are being supported to understand current issues in a child-friendly way; and next steps for delivering services virtually, such as group work programmes.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

Impacts of Covid-19 on the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector working in criminal justice


This paper explores the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sustainability of the voluntary sector working in the criminal justice system. Evidence has been gathered from leading voluntary sector experts, surveys of the voluntary sector working in criminal justice and a series of national regional network events held by Clinks for voluntary sector organisations. Over 1,700 voluntary organisations work specifically in criminal justice, playing a unique and valuable role in prisons and local communities. A further 4,916 voluntary organisations work with people in the criminal justice system by nature of their work. These charities exist to support and advocate for some of the most stigmatised and excluded communities whose needs mainstream services often fail to meet. The paper looks at how long-term trends in funding and commissioning models have impacted on the sustainability of voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system, and how Covid-19 has both exacerbated existing challenges and brought in new challenges. It makes a number of recommendations to the government, including for: greater use of discretionary public sector grants as low bureaucracy tools to provide sustainable grant funding for core costs; emergency funding to be made available to voluntary organisations to cover their costs where Covid-19 has disrupted their usual means to bridge shortfalls in funding for MoJ/HMPPS contracted services; targeted support to specialist services for people with protected characteristics, with a particular focus on ensuring funding streams for services delivered to and/or led by black, Asian and minority ethnic people; and engagement with voluntary organisations as strategic partners in the design and delivery of services, rather than solely as suppliers.

Last updated on hub: 17 August 2020

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