COVID-19 resources

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Young people in care: how lockdown provides a haven of security and belonging

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Amidst all the gloom and concerns about what effect the emergency lockdown measures associated with COVID-19 are having on children, there is a small group of young people finding positive benefits. Staff at one Scottish provider of residential services for children and young people who have complex needs, say young people are less distressed than before lockdown and many seem happier than they were before the measures were implemented. Daily life is less pressured. Staff are happier too. Lockdown is proving to be a catalyst for changes in line with the principles of Social Pedagogy which promotes the value of meaningful relationships that offer emotional and practical support.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

COVID-19: survey of residential services in Ireland during the lockdown restrictions

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, EPIC (Empowering People in Care), a national voluntary organisation in Ireland working with and for children and young adults who are currently in care or who have experience of being in care, decided to contact all young people’s residential centres in Ireland. Often the young people that live in residential homes are the forgotten children in care, so it was important to reach out to ensure that their issues were being heard. The survey concentrated on the needs of the young people, issues affecting staff, how work practices had changed and what extra supports were needed. The responses were positive on many levels and certainly the voices of the young people and the staff were heard.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

Care in the time of Covid-19: nurturing our children

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

In recent years there has been increasing emphasis placed upon the value of nurturing practice within children’s services in Scotland. The outbreak of COVID-19 is having an invisible, yet devastating, impact on our most vulnerable children. For most there is no school, no sports or social activity. Many children are witnessing their parents losing employment or falling ill. The longer the outbreak lasts the deeper the consequences will be on children’s life chances; their social and emotional development, their behaviour and learning.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

A free, global, online learning resource - COVID-19: adapting child protection case management

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

At the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, concerns were emerging from around the world as to how measures such as social distancing and lockdown were impacting the ability of those working to protect children. In particular, these challenges were affecting the timely and effective child protection case management for individual children at risk. In response, a taskforce of international child protection and child rights agencies highlighted the importance of a collective response to these concerns whilst also seeking a way to rapidly reach thousands of front-line practitioners with information on adapting the process of child protection case management in response to the changing situation. To this end, the taskforce commissioned a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – an interactive, online learning resource – to be made available free of charge on the FutureLearn platform to thousands of practitioners and policy makers across the world.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

Put relationships at the heart of recovery and fuse social and economic policies

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care

Mentoring charity MCR Pathways’ founder reflects on the radical impact lockdown has had on care-experienced and other disadvantaged young people in Scotland. In partnerships with local authorities and schools, the MCR model is helping implement a long-term system and cultural change within Scottish education, to ensure an equality of education outcomes, job choices and subsequent life chances. Following school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the charity surveyed more than 1,000 young people to ascertain the impact on their wellbeing, ability to learn and thoughts on returning to school and their futures. The article explores the challenges highlighted by the research and the solutions needed to address those concerns. With young people driving each conclusion, the author proposes his recommendations for recovery, equality and growth and how those affected need to be central to all decisions. Not just for social policy but in a required fusing with economic policy.

Last updated on hub: 06 October 2020

Long-stay mental health care institutions and the COVID-19 crisis: identifying and addressing the challenges for better response and preparedness

World Health Organization

This report presents the results of a survey with 169 long-stay institutions to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on services, staff, service users and residents with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities. Specific themes explored in this report are how well the institutions were prepared for the crisis by authorities, the quality of communications, the availability of personal protective equipment, and the impact of the risk of infection and protective measures on staff and residents. The report finds that there were significant differences between the types of institution reporting, which included psychiatric hospitals; care homes; and other settings for mental health care. Responses from psychiatric, intellectual disability and autism services were broadly consistent with those from social care homes, except for the following significant areas of difference: social care homes were happier with information from the authorities and the information they provided for residents in accessible formats; care home staff reported challenges with more workload, stress, frustration and burnout; care homes were less likely to use discharge to reduce numbers and manage the virus; and more likely to report an increase in the use of restrictive measures. The analysis highlights the need to put in place comprehensive and practical plans to facilitate management and day-to-day operations under crisis conditions. The keys to this are: having clear guidelines and tested systems in place; ensuring clarity of communication; implementing a comprehensive and facility-based infection prevention and control plan; establishing clear procedures and protocols to ensure safe environments; being able to increase staff capacities according to need; and having a clear focus on ensuring person-centred and human rights-based care in all decision-making.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020

Delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond: second report of session 2019–21

UK Parliament

Findings of an inquiry to investigate a range of issues relating to the delivery of core NHS and care services during the pandemic. This report addresses the following issues: communication with patients; managing waiting times and the backlog of appointments; issues facing NHS and care staff relating to access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and routine testing of staff; issues facing NHS and care staff relating to workforce “burnout”; and what lessons can be learnt from the pandemic in order to support the NHS in the future. The coronavirus pandemic posed an unprecedented challenge to the NHS and social care system. The report raises concerns about the lack of effective communication strategies with patients; the substantial increase in the number of missed, delayed and cancelled appointments across critical non-COVID services; and the effect of the pandemic on the physical and mental wellbeing of the NHS and social care workforce. The report also assesses what changes should take place to support the NHS in the long-term. They include introducing an expanded 111 dial service to support A&E departments, investigating how technology (“telemedicine”) can be used without digitally excluding those already disadvantaged, and retaining capacity and resources from the independent sector in the long term.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020

Stress among children in England during the coronavirus lockdown

Children’s Commissioner for England

Findings of a survey to explore how children’s experience of stress had changed since lockdown began. The survey involved another panel of 2,000 children aged 8 – 17 and ran from 18th to 25th June. Overall, the frequency of feeling stressed declined during lockdown between March and June 2020. This was mainly driven by a decline in the percentage of children feeling stressed some of the time, from 47% to 34%, and an increase in children feeling stressed rarely or not at all (from 23% to 42%). However, the proportion of children experiencing stress most days or every day remained broadly consistent between the two surveys – 24% in March and 22% in June. Results from the June survey show that 26% of children reported that they had become more stressed about their mental and physical health during lockdown, while only 15% reported that they had become less stressed about this topic; 13% of children reported that they had become more stressed not having enough food or clothes during lockdown, while 26% reported that they had become less stressed about this topic; 49% of children chose ‘not being able to see my friends or relatives’ as one of their top three causes of stress during lockdown out of topics related to school or Coronavirus, while 39% of children chose ‘schoolwork I had to do whilst I was at home’ as one of their top three causes.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020

A new relationship between the NHS, people and communities learning from COVID-19

NHS Confederation

This report considers how the NHS can cultivate a new relationship with people, patients and communities following the pandemic. As the health and care system tackles the next phase of the pandemic, its leaders are keen to build stronger relationships with the communities they serve. The report explores how they can cultivate a new relationship and foster trust, describing how to build a new ‘health and care deal’ with communities; reflecting on patients’ perspectives and insight; examining how services communicate; emphasising the importance of supporting carers and the social care sector; and looking at the role of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. The report argues that in the longer term, the NHS will need to extend the social contract, or ‘deal’, with the public to maintain the idea of shared responsibility. By establishing a shared responsibility for health, the health and care sector can open up essential conversations about prevention and the protection of individuals’ own health that are key to the health service’s survival over the next decade. But to introduce these ideas, there must be willingness from both the NHS and people, patients and communities to engage in this conversation. In the shorter term, with winter looming and stretching targets to restore services, the NHS and partners will need to work with communities more closely than ever before to meet local need, restore services inclusively and manage expectations.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020

How health and care systems can work better with VCSE partners

NHS Confederation

This briefing from the NHS Reset campaign outlines five ways integrated care systems can work with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to rebuild local systems and reset the way health and care are planned, commissioned and delivered. It includes case studies showing how systems are working with local VCSE organisations to support residents. Organisations across the VCSE sector are uniquely placed to support people and communities and are vitally important to COVID-19 recovery planning, supporting population health and reducing health inequalities. Deepening partnerships with VCSE organisations will be essential in supporting communities to rebuild and recover following the coronavirus outbreak. The briefing outlines five approaches to achieving greater collaboration between health and care systems and VCSE partners. These include: develop a clear and equitable role for the VCSE sector; co-design outcomes for people and communities; commit to longer-term investment in the VCSE; build on what is already there; and embed VCSE services and support in COVID-19 recovery.

Last updated on hub: 05 October 2020