COVID-19 resources

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“Shelter-in-place” isn’t shelter that’s safe: a rapid analysis of domestic violence case differences during the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders

Journal of Family Violence

This study explored the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on domestic violence (DV) with the following research questions: 1) Did DV occurring during the pandemic differ on certain variables from cases occurring on a typical day the previous year? 2) Did DV occurring after the implementation of shelter-in-place orders differ (on these same variables) from cases occurring prior to shelter-in-place orders? Two logistic regression models were developed to predict DV case differences before and during the pandemic. DV reports (N = 4618) were collected from the Chicago Police Department. Cases from March 2019 and March 2020 were analyzed based on multiple variables. One model was set to predict case differences since the pandemic began, and another model was set to predict case differences during the shelter-in-place period later that month. Both models were significant with multiple significant predictors. During the pandemic period, cases with arrests were 20% less likely to have occurred, and cases at residential locations were 22% more likely to have occurred. During the shelter-in-place period, cases at residential locations were 64% more likely to have occurred, and cases with child victims were 67% less likely to have occurred. This study offers a rapid analysis of DV case differences since the pandemic and shelter-in-place began. Additional variables and data sources could improve model explanatory power. Research, policy, and practice in this area must pivot to focus on protecting children whose access to mandated reporters has decreased and moving victims out of dangerous living situations into safe spaces.

Last updated on hub: 15 March 2021

“Somebody like me”: understanding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among staff in skilled nursing facilities

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Objective: The vaccination of skilled nursing facility (SNF) staff is a critical component in the battle against COVID-19. Together, residents and staff constitute the single most vulnerable population in the pandemic. The health of these workers is completely entangled with the health of those they care for. Vaccination of SNF staff is key to increasing uptake of the vaccine, reducing health disparities, and reopening SNFs to visitors. Yet, as the vaccine rollout begins, some SNF staff are declining to be vaccinated. The purpose of this article is to describe reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy reported by staff of skilled nursing facilities and understand factors that could potentially reduce hesitancy. Design: Five virtual focus groups were conducted with staff of SNFs as part of a larger project to improve vaccine uptake. Setting and Participants: Focus groups with 58 staff members were conducted virtually using Zoom. Measures: Focus groups sought to elicit concerns, perspectives, and experiences related to COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Results: Our findings indicate that some SNF staff are hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Reasons for this hesitancy include beliefs that the vaccine has been developed too fast and without sufficient testing; personal fears about pre-existing medical conditions, and more general distrust of the government. Conclusions and Implications: SNF staff indicate that seeing people like themselves receive the vaccination is more important than seeing public figures. This paper discusses the vaccination effort as a social enterprise and the need to develop long-term care provider-academic-community partnerships in response to COVID-19 and in expectation of future pandemics.

Last updated on hub: 26 July 2021

“Spend time with me”: children and young people’s experiences of COVID-19 and the justice system

Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice

This paper shares findings from research gathering the views of children and young people with experience of the justice system on COVID-19 and associated restrictions. Youth justice practitioners were also consulted, and shared practice examples as case studies. The study shows that the biggest issues facing children and young people in the justice system are isolation and lack of contact with others. Boredom, lack of activity and being stuck at home were also reported to be significant issues in complying with restrictions. This is in spite of almost all children and young people reporting they have been able to stay in touch with family and friends, and practitioners developing creative methods to sustain contact, and continue to support children, young people and their families. Particular challenges were identified with the operation of the justice system across all areas of the Whole System Approach. Some existing challenges such as delays to processes and release from custody have been exacerbated by COVID-19. A range of factors have worked in supporting children and young people: keeping in touch through creative methods; ensuring access to things to keep them occupied, practical resources and technology; working with partners; and the dedication of staff. This evidence has been used to inform the Alternative Child Rights Impact Assessment about the coronavirus, commissioned by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland.

Last updated on hub: 29 June 2020

“Taking it on the chin”: older people, human rights and COVID-19

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discuss the implications of government responses to COVID-19 for older people. Governments in England and in Wales faced complex decisions when responding to COVID-19. This paper considers the impact of their actions on the human rights of older people. It argues that there is a case to answer of potential breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights. Although it is too early to come to firm conclusions as more scientific and medical evidence is required, some actions by governments seem to be based on using age as a basis for decision-making. Human rights are complex, and it is important that claims of violations satisfy the Convention, the Human Rights Act 1998, the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and other international instruments. Design/methodology/approach: The paper considers the legal framework of the European Convention and its relevance to Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) and older people. Case law, academic research, guidance and media coverage form the basis of the research. Findings: The governments have a strong case to answer. In defending their positions against allegations of discrimination against older people, they need to produce strong and convincing evidence including medical and scientific evidence that formed the basis of their decisions. Originality/value: This paper is based on original research into human rights, older people and COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2021

“Thanks for hearing me out”: voices of social work students during COVID-19

Qualitative Social Work

As social work educators and students, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our teaching and learning in challenging ways. We embarked on a qualitative research study to better understand the ways in which the pandemic was affecting the social work students in our program. Three faculty mentors worked collaboratively with five social work students across BSW, MSW, and PhD programs to interview 66 BSW and MSW students about their experiences, challenges, and hopes during the early months of the pandemic. BSW and MSW students led the analysis and early dissemination for the project. This essay describes the unique experiences of social work students by using a research poem to capture the emotional and experiential aspects of the students we interviewed.

Last updated on hub: 16 March 2021

“We are alone in this battle”: a framework for a coordinated response to COVID-19 in nursing homes

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

As of May 2020, nursing home residents account for a staggering one-third of the more than 80,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. This pandemic has resulted in unprecedented threats to achieving and sustaining care quality even in the best nursing homes, requiring active engagement of nursing home leaders in developing solutions responsive to the unprecedented threats to quality standards of care delivery during the pandemic. This perspective offers a framework, designed with the input of nursing home leaders, to facilitate internal and external decision-making and collective action to address these threats. Policy options focus on assuring a shared understanding among nursing home leaders and government agencies of changes in the operational status of nursing homes throughout the crisis, improving access to additional essential resources needed to mitigate the crisis’ impact, and promoting shared accountability for consistently achieving accepted standards in core quality domains.

Last updated on hub: 08 June 2020

“Whatever it takes”: Government spending on children and young people – the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 Spending Review

National Children's Bureau

This report sets out an analysis of the 2020 Spending Review, showing that the approach is still too piecemeal to deliver a better childhood for the UK’s children. Many children, young people and families benefited through the universal measures taken in response to the pandemic, including the Coronavirus Job Retention (‘furlough’) Scheme and the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit. Other measures were more specifically targeted at children and young people in low-income households. However, while the Treasury has made much needed spending commitments in some areas, there have been major omissions in others. These include: no commitments to counteract rising child poverty; no support to make babies and young children a priority; not enough to protect young people’s mental health; no solution to the sustained crisis in children’s social care.

Last updated on hub: 22 December 2020

“You know, we can change the services to suit the circumstances of what is happening in the world”: a rapid case study of the COVID-19 response across city centre homelessness and health services in Edinburgh, Scotland

Harm Reduction Journal

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated unprecedented changes in the way that health, social, and housing services are delivered to individuals experiencing homelessness and problem substance use. Protecting those at high risk of infection/transmission, whilst addressing the multiple health and social needs of this group, is of utmost importance. This study aimed to document the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals who were experiencing homelessness in one city centre in Scotland, and how services adapted in response. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals with lived/living experience of homelessness (n = 10), staff within onethird sector service (n = 5), and external professionals (n = 5), during April-August 2020, using a rapid case study design. These were audio-recorded, fully transcribed, and analysed using Framework. Analysis was informed by inclusion health and equity-orientated approaches to meeting the needs of people with multiple and complex needs, and emerging literature on providing harm reduction in the context of COVID-19. Results: Those with lived/living experience of homelessness and problem substance use faced a range of additional challenges during the pandemic. Mental health and use of substances were affected, influenced by social isolation and access to services. A range of supports were provided which flexed over the lockdown period, including housing, health and social care, substance use treatment, and harm reduction. As well as documenting the additional risks encountered, findings describe COVID-19 as a ‘path-breaking’ event that created opportunities to get evidence into action, increase partnership working and communication, to proactively address risks. Conclusions: This rapid case study has described the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a group of people experiencing homelessness and problem substance use within one city centre in Scotland and provides a unique lens on service/professional responses. It concludes with lessons that can inform the international and ongoing response to this pandemic. It is vital to recognise the vision and leadership that has adapted organisational responses in order to reduce harms. We must learn from such successes that were motivated both by compassion and care for those vulnerable to harms and the desire to provide high-quality, evidence-based, harm reduction services.

Last updated on hub: 02 July 2021

“You never stop being a social worker:” experiences of pediatric hospital social workers during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

Social Work in Health Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought widespread devastation upon children and families across the United States, widening existing health disparities and inequities that disproportionately affect communities of color. In health care settings specifically, social work is the key workforce tasked with responding to patient and family psychosocial needs, both of which have increased substantially since the emergence of COVID-19. There is a need to understand ways in which hospital social workers’ roles, responsibilities, and integration within interprofessional teams have evolved in response to these challenges. In this qualitative study, focus groups were conducted with 55 social workers employed across multiple settings in a large, urban, pediatric hospital in Spring 2020. Thematic analyses revealed salient superordinate themes related to the pandemic’s impact on social work practice and social workers themselves, institutional facilitators and impediments to effective social work and interprofessional practice, and social work perspectives on future pandemic recovery efforts. Within each theme, a number of interrelated subthemes emerged elucidating nuances of telehealth adoption in the context of remote work, the salience of social determinants of health, and the critical role of social work in social justice oriented pandemic preparedness and response efforts. Implications for interprofessional practice and the profession at large are discussed.

Last updated on hub: 18 March 2021

10 leaps forward: innovation in the pandemic. What we want to keep from this experience: going ‘back to better’

London South Bank University

An analysis of the findings of an online survey asking leaders and clinicians to reflect and play back in their own words the most important transformations that have happened due to COVID-19. The findings show that in a very short time healthcare services have learned to operate as a highly performing system and made significant advances. These include: staff being properly valued and supported; using 21st century tools; working with connected, visible, engaged leaders; care basics and inefficiencies have been fixed and sorted; local health systems have joined up together to get things done; staff working together as real teams; staff have stepped up and acted with professionalism and autonomy. As a result, the healthcare system is now better placed to make decisions based on needs and think pro-actively; to make mutual decisions with patients as partners; and to work in close collaboration with its community.

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

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