COVID-19 resources

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Rituals in the time of COVID‐19: imagination, responsiveness, and the human spirit

Family Process

Following the format put forth by Imber‐Black and Roberts, this paper examines daily rituals, family traditions, holidays, and life cycle rituals during the pandemic of COVID‐19. Marked by symbols capable of carrying multiple meanings, symbolic actions, special time and special place, and newly invented and adapted rituals are illustrated through stories of couples, families, and communities.

Last updated on hub: 14 October 2020

Expanding possibilities: flexibility and solidarity with under‐resourced immigrant families during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Family Process

The novel coronavirus has added new anxieties and forms of grieving to the myriad practical and emotional burdens already present in the lives of underserved and uninsured immigrant families and communities. This article relates to experiences since the COVID‐19 crisis to the lessons that have be learned over time as mental health professionals working with families in no‐cost, student‐managed community comprehensive health clinics in academic‐community partnerships. This paper compares and contrast the learnings of flexibility of time, space, procedures, or attendance acquired in this clinical community setting during regular times, with the new challenges families and therapists face, and the adaptations needed to continue to work with our clients in culturally responsive and empowering ways during the COVID‐19 pandemic. This paper describes families, students, professionals, promotoras (community links), and IT support staff joining together in solidarity as the creative problem solvers of new possibilities when families do not have access to Wi‐Fi, smartphones, or computers, or suffer overcrowding and lack of privacy. This paper also describes many anxieties related to economic insecurity or fear of facing death alone, but also how to visualize expanding possibilities in styles of parenting or types of emotional support among family members as elements of hope that may endure beyond these unprecedented tragic times of loss and uncertainty.

Last updated on hub: 14 October 2020

COVID‐19 interconnectedness: health inequity, the climate crisis, and collective trauma

Family Process

The COVID‐19 pandemic brings to the forefront the complex interconnected dilemmas of globalization, health equity, economic security, environmental justice, and collective trauma, severely impacting the marginalized and people of color in the United States. This lack of access to and the quality of healthcare, affordable housing, and lack of financial resources also continue to have a more significant impact on documented and undocumented immigrants. This paper aims at examining these critical issues and developing a framework for family therapists to address these challenges by focusing on four interrelated dimensions: cultural values, social determinants of health, collective trauma, and the ethical and moral responsibility of family therapists. Given the fact that family therapists may unwittingly function as the best ally of an economic and political system that perpetuates institutionalized racism and class discrimination, we need to utilize a set of principles, values, and practices that are not just palliative or after the fact but bring forth into the psychotherapeutic and policy work a politics of care. Therefore, a strong call to promote and advocate for the broader continuum of health and critical thinking preparing professionals to meet the challenges of health equity, as well as economic and environmental justice, is needed. The issues discussed in this paper are specific to the United States despite their relevance to family therapy as a field. We are mindful not to generalize the United States' reality to the rest of the world, recognizing that issues discussed in this paper could potentially contribute to international discourse.

Last updated on hub: 14 October 2020

Effect of the covid‐19 pandemic on the mental health of carers of people with intellectual disabilities

Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Introduction: The measures implemented to manage the COVID‐19 pandemic have been shown to impair mental health. This problem is likely to be exacerbated for carers. Method: Informal carers (mainly parents) of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and a comparison group of parents of children without disabilities, completed an online questionnaire. Almost all the data were collected while strict lockdown conditions were in place. Results: Relative to carers of children without intellectual disability, carers of both children and adults with intellectual disability had significantly greater levels of a wish fulfilment coping style, defeat/entrapment, anxiety, and depression. Differences were 2‐3 times greater than reported in earlier pre‐pandemic studies. Positive correlations were found between objective stress scores and all mental health outcomes. Conclusions: Despite their greater mental health needs, carers of those with intellectual disability received less social support from a variety of sources. We consider the policy implications of these findings.

Last updated on hub: 14 October 2020

Upholding rights and valuing voices: advocacy principles for coronavirus and beyond

National Development Team for Inclusion

These operating principles seek to make sure that people who use social care and health services during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic are heard and listened to, recognising the essential role of advocacy in supporting people. The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on and exacerbated inequalities – effective advocacy is ever more important as a tool to make sure that people’s voices are heard, inequality is addressed, and rights are respected. These principles supplement the advocacy charter but do not seek to duplicate or replace it. They sit between the high-level principles of the charter and more detailed guidance and practice requirements (including the Advocacy Code of Practice). The principles are: 1. Make sure that people are heard, and their rights are respected; 2. Communicate effectively and safely meet with people in person; 3. Make sure that people can access advocacy; 4. Take positive anti-discrimination action; 5. Work together to promote systemic change.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020

Levelling up communities: paper one

Covid Recovery Commission

This first report by the Covid Recovery Commission presents an initial analysis on how inequality impacts on individuals, neighbourhoods and communities right across the UK and how these inequalities have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It shows that the pandemic has hit disadvantaged communities hardest – in the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods there has been an average of 21 more Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 population compared to the least deprived neighbourhoods. Furthermore, neighbourhoods in the highest 10% of unemployment benefit claims prior to Covid-19 have seen a 5.4 percentage point increase in claims, compared to a 2.3 percentage point increase for those in the 10% with the lowest claim rate prior to the pandemic. Finally, people who say that they cannot afford an unexpected expense have seen a larger rise in depression during the pandemic – more than a third of people who cannot afford an unexpected expense report having severe to moderate symptoms of depression. The report argues that a new approach to levelling up is needed to tackle these inequalities. This should focus on local impacts and use a comprehensive strategy, wider than simply rebalancing economic fortunes, to ensure the UK economy and society is fairer post-Covid-19, than it was before. It identifies and explores some areas which warrant further discussion, and include: decision making that focuses on people and places; building personal and community resilience; improving mental and physical health; and delivering educational opportunities.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020

A telling experience: understanding the impact of Covid-19 on people who access care and support: a rapid evidence review with recommendations

Think Local Act Personal

A review of the evidence exploring the impact of the Care Act Easements (CAE) and/or Covid-19 on the lives of people who accessed care and support, and unpaid carers. The evidence reviewed pointed to the general confusion and anxiety of the early pandemic upon the general public and specifically upon those who accessed care and support, focusing on: loneliness and isolation; financial pressures; practical issues around food shopping; increase in health anxiety; and changes to the streetscape. The research also revealed more specific findings related to those who accessed care and support and their unpaid or family carers, including: an overarching challenge around communications; concerns around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); cancellations of respite and day services; and some examples of changes to care packages. The review also identifies areas of good practice and learning which might be drawn upon to help build a legacy for future care and support, including: support to shape future communications and advice around a potential second Covid-19 wave; building on aspects of flexible and agile working, particularly in terms of digital models of provision; supported living and extra care providers such as Shared Lives; potential of personalisation reaffirmed as the cornerstone of future delivery; pockets of good practice around co-production to build upon for future learning; innovation and good practice in commissioning to build a new a vision for mental health support and more widely across health and social care; potential of the informal networks of Mutual Aid groups and neighbourhood support and of national networks to share information, good practice and learning at a sector leadership level.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: online abuse

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

This briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of online abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. It focuses on perpetrators targeting children online for sexual abuse and contains quotes from children and young people reporting their experience. Key themes include: the impact of online sexual abuse on children; online grooming; loneliness and self-esteem; using online platforms for the first time; sharing sexual images; sexual exploitation; and speaking out about abuse. The briefing highlights that while children and young people have been able to access important support via the internet during the coronavirus pandemic, perpetrators have also been provided with more opportunities to target children for sexual abuse online. Techniques used by perpetrators include: using multiple channels to communicate with children; moving conversations from one platform to another; and taking conversations from public to private online spaces. The report calls for expansive and ambitious Online Harms regulation across the UK, to help keep children safe. This includes: a Duty of Care on online platforms; a regulator that has comprehensive investigatory, disclosure and enforcement powers to address online risks; and user advocacy arrangements, funded by an industry levy, to provide counterbalance to industry engagement and ensure children’s needs are represented in regulatory decisions.

Last updated on hub: 13 October 2020

The COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on children in domestic violence refuges

Child Abuse Review

This short report, reports the findings of a a web‐based survey of domestic violence refuges in Norway (N = 46) distributed on 8 April 2020 with the aim of obtaining an overview of the impact of the COVID‐19 crisis and the virus control measures implemented on 13 March 2020 on victims of domestic violence and abuse. During lockdown in Norway, all daycare centres and schools were closed immediately, as were many small businesses, including restaurants and shops. Moreover, all gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, were banned. These and numerous other restrictions in Norway during the spring of 2020 represented the most extreme measures enforced by the Norwegian government since the Second World War. Many of the restrictions have significantly impacted the lives of children and adolescents, especially the closing of daycare centres, schools and arenas in which many children spend their leisure time, such as football fields, swimming pools and art centres. Three key themes identified in the survey responses were: concern for children living with domestic violence outside of the refuge; concern for children and adolescents living at the refuge; and services that are flexible and accustomed to crisis situation. While at time of writing, the lockdown had been lifted in Norway, the authors report that the lives of children and adolescents remain very much affected by the pandemic, and there is reason to believe that the last few months have seen an increase in violence against children.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020

From unnoticed to invisible: the impact of COVID‐19 on children and young people experiencing domestic violence and abuse

Child Abuse Review

This continuing professional development paper provides an overview of the impact that COVID‐19 has had on specialist services delivering support to children and young people experiencing domestic violence and abuse (DVA). It draws upon the experiences of being the operational manager of two specialist children's services. The target audience includes professionals working with young people in a range of settings including schools, youth clubs and statutory services. This understanding also contributes a valuable insight into those with a strategic or commissioning responsibility to provide support services for children and young people.

Last updated on hub: 12 October 2020