COVID-19 resources on domestic violence

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Responding to COVID19: examples of changing and emerging practice across the East of England

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, COVID19 has prompted a wide range of much needed and proactive responses to ensure people stay as independent as possible, well, safe and connected. Barriers that existed before the pandemic, have in most cases easily been removed. There is evidence of communication, partnership working and digital technology being embraced. Although it is recognised that face to face responses will continue to play an important role, there is evidence of emerging practice which has achieved better outcomes for people and that should be sustained post COVID19. This publication highlights some of those. The paper shares examples of emerging practice during the pandemic. They cover a multitude of areas such as: the use of digital technology; supporting care markets and providers; reaching out to people and communities; supporting people with accommodation needs; ensuring person-centred care and coproduction; and supporting the workforce to stay well.

Last updated on hub: 19 January 2021

Safeguarding children under Covid-19: what are we learning?

Journal of Children's Services

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify and share learning about safeguarding children under Covid-19 drawn from a series of webinars held by the Association of Safeguarding Partners (www.theASP.org.uk). The learning is relevant for health, police, local authority and other relevant safeguarding agencies and includes sharing information about both the challenges and opportunities presented during the Covid-19 pandemic. By creating a webinar lead community of learning, lessons can be drawn that will help safeguard children during the remaining of the pandemic and during the release of lockdown as it emerges. Design/methodology/approach: This paper summarises themes from discussions within three webinars run by The Association of Safeguarding Partners (TASP) (www.theASP.org.uk). Each webinar was attended by between 60 and 80 participants, sessions involving presentations and discussions on topics such as “managing safeguarding reviews at a distance”, “the impact on early years’ provision” and “how work with families and children has changed with remote working methods”. With the participants’ consent, webinars were recorded, and these can be viewed on www.theasp.co.uk. Webinars were supported by an on-line programme: “meeting sphere” capturing comments in a “chat” facility and providing capacity for participants to collectively code comments into themes. Findings: Findings from the webinars note concerns about continuing and undetected abuse of children within and outside of the home; about the changing nature of criminal exploitation; and about the strains created by social distancing on children in families experiencing problems with poor mental health, drug and alcohol misuse and domestic abuse. Findings include some important lessons, including the discovery of innovative ways of working, the rapid collation of data across partnerships and about different methods of engaging with children, young people and families. Findings include suggestions about the impact of changes on the future safeguarding of children. Originality/value: There is little published discussion of the implications of Covid-19 on practitioners working on safeguarding children. While some research is emerging, there have been few opportunities for practitioners to listen to emerging practice ideas under Covid-19 or to discuss in an informal context how to address the new and emerging problems in safeguarding children. This think piece contains original material from webinars held with safeguarding children practitioners and is valuable for those working to safeguard children during and post Covid-19.

Last updated on hub: 30 December 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic and the struggle to tackle gender-based violence

Journal of Adult Protection

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to look at the policies for the protection of women during pandemics while taking gender and feminist interests into crucial consideration. In perilous times like this, where many humans are living in fear and struggling to survive a world filled with diverse traumatizing events such as wars, universal pandemic, man-induced tragedies, natural destruction, overwhelming stress and stress-related illnesses abound. Currently, Covid-19 pandemic is rampaging in different areas of the world. Design/methodology/approach: Studies have reviewed the major reasons of the violence against women during lockdown. A qualitative review of the literature is performed and analyzed. As there have been compulsory lockdowns in different parts of the world, Turkey included, the lockdown is ideal for preventing the spread of Covid-19. Findings: There are issues this Covid-19 pandemic has caused, and one major issue is the stigma and trauma women face around the world, even in their homes. Domestic violence is a serious concern. It is, therefore, paramount for the government to intervene on this issue by declaring domestic violence as “essential services” and must set modalities in place for instant reliefs to women in such distress. It is even further envisaged that the term lockdowns have a diverse number of interpretations. One such prevailing argument is that humans are enslaved to their general imaginations, may continue in the pathways set aside by gender stereotypes or the same lockdowns, can be used as a means to set aside patriarchal notions and pursue a violence-free existence. Originality/value: This research will increase the awareness in terms of preventing gender-based violence and try to address how this pandemic makes it worse for women. In addition, there are many studies focused on family violence and Covid-19 while few focus on gender.

Last updated on hub: 09 December 2020

Beyond masks: societal impacts of COVID-19 and accelerated solutions for children and adolescents

United Nations Children's Emergency Fund

This review explores the societal impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on children, drawing on the existing literature – both of Covid-19 and other health crises – to guide child-sensitive responses. It also focuses on effective and feasible interventions, providing insight into the diverse domains of children’s lives that can be affected and which will require attention and action. The review covers: health and wellbeing; economy and equality; learning and human capital development; violence and conflict; family relationships; and social networks. It finds that there are evidence-based, low-cost, scalable interventions with demonstrated effectiveness in mitigating multiple challenges worsened by Covid-19. However, rapid innovation and evidence-building is needed to adapt evidence-based interventions to a Covid-19 context, including contexts of sustained poverty, weakened government capacity, social distancing/physical distancing and movement restrictions. Many of the interventions will explore the use of digital adaptation and efforts to reduce the digital divide, while infrastructure strengthening will be a prerequisite for much of the rapid response when virtual resources are utilised. The report argues that by identifying accelerator provisions – social protection, parenting support and psychosocial/mental health support, safe and quality education environment and others – it is possible to strategically aim to mitigate the negative consequences of Covid-19 on children and adolescents. The report sets out a six-point plan to protect children from the worst effects of the pandemic, calling on governments and partners to: ensure all children learn, including by closing the digital divide; guarantee access to primary health care and vaccination; support and protect the mental health of children and young people and bring an end to abuse, gender-based violence and neglect; increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and address environmental degradation and climate change; reverse the rise in child poverty; and redouble efforts to protect and support children and their families living through conflict, disaster and displacement.

Last updated on hub: 24 November 2020

ADASS autumn survey 2020

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

Findings from the ADASS autumn survey, which was distributed between 22nd October and 13th November 2020. There are 151 local authorities in England with adult social care responsibility. For this survey, there were 101 completed returns. Key messages include: the onset of the pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people presenting with adult social care needs to local authorities, with concerning increases in older and disabled people presenting for domestic abuse and safeguarding and carer breakdown since June 2020; the precarious financial position of adult social care means that Directors confidence in meeting what they have to do in law, which is the cornerstone of meeting basic human rights, continues to diminish year on year; since the onset of Covid-19 the risk of already fragile care markets failing has significantly heightened; adult social care services are facing significant financial pressures in 2020/21, with an overspend of £468m predicted nationally, as a result of the additional need and costs that have emerged as a result of the onset of the pandemic and despite additional funding for Covid-19 from Government.

Last updated on hub: 24 November 2020

How coronavirus has affected equality and human rights

Equality and Human Rights Commission

This report outlines the currently known key impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on equality and human rights across key areas of life, including work, poverty, education, social care, and justice and personal security; and the risks faced by different groups. Key findings include: the economic impact of the pandemic has been unequal, entrenching existing inequalities and widening others; the groups most likely to be affected by the expected rise in poverty include young people, ethnic minorities, and disabled people, who are already closest to the poverty line; older people, ethnic minorities and some disabled people, particularly those in care homes, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic; the increased demand for social care has threatened the financial resilience of the sector, potentially impacting its users and workers; this has led to an increased reliance on unpaid carers, who are more likely to be women; there has been a rise in reported domestic abuse and there are concerns about the ability of survivors to access justice.

Last updated on hub: 21 October 2020

Family violence and COVID‐19: increased vulnerability and reduced options for support

Editorial published in the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing that considers the issue of family violence during pandemics. Covers the themes of isolation and family violence; a perfect storm; COVID‐19 and coercive control; and reimagining support networks for people living with family violence during these challenging times. Citation: Usher, K. et al. (2020). Family violence and COVID‐19: Increased vulnerability and reduced options for support. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 29(4)549-552 .

Last updated on hub: 19 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

Emerging evidence: coronavirus and children and young people's mental health: issue 2

Evidence Based Practice Unit

A rapid review of the evidence on the key mental health challenges for children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how parents, carers, and professionals can help them to manage and minimise these challenges. It is the second of a series of reviews and captures research published between 5th May 2020 and 24th May 2020. The evidence suggests that the nature and duration of the pandemic and lockdown measures are having significant impacts on children and young people’s mental health, contributing to the onset as well as exacerbation of worry, fear, anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress. Children with pre-existing mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions and children from minority ethnic groups are at greater risk of mental health problems during the pandemic. Several social and economic factors (e.g. poverty, separation from parents and carers, domestic violence) make some young people more vulnerable to the mental health challenges of the pandemic. Researchers are emphasising the importance of monitoring the impact of the pandemic on children and young people’s mental health. As stresses and conflicting responsibilities increase, those supporting children and young people should also prioritise their own self-care in order to support the mental health and wellbeing of their families.

Last updated on hub: 28 September 2020

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