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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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91 - 105 of 157
Vulnerable children’s right to education, school exclusion, and pandemic law-making

Lucinda Ferguson

Published: May 2021   Journal: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
This article draws on the impact of the ongoing pandemic to highlight the failure of the English legal regime to adequately protect children’s right to education, particularly equal access to education by especially vulnerable children. It first outlines key domestic and international legislative provisions positioned as securing children’s and parents’ rights in this context. Prior to the pandemic, there was growing recognition of the current regime's failings regarding illegal exclusions from school, children missing from education, and the lack of inclusive education for children with special educational needs and disabilities (‘SEND’). The protection of children’s rights relied on the benevolent exercise of discretion and key decision-makers not exploiting limited oversight and scrutiny in order to meet results-driven accountability measures. Second, this article critically analyses pandemic law-making and regulation, particularly in relation to the exclusion process, the legal duty to provide education in an online environment, the law on Education, Health, and Care Plans (‘EHCPs’), and the de-registration and fines for non-attendance. Third, it argues that the educational impact of the pandemic highlights the need for law reform, rather than merely revisions to statutory guidance and focus on best practice. Such reform may also trigger improvement via the ‘reflexive regulation’ of the education system.
Social work and child protection for a post-pandemic world: the re-making of practice during COVID-19 and its renewal beyond it

Harry Ferguson; Laura Kelly; Sarah Pink

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Social Work Practice
The Covid-19 pandemic presented social workers and managers in child protection with complex practical and moral dilemmas about how to respond to children and families while social distancing. This paper draws on our research into practice during the pandemic to show some of the ways social workers changed their practice and to provide theories and concepts that can help to account for how such change occurs. Drawing on anthropological uses of the concepts of ‘contingency’ and ‘improvisation’ and Hartmut Rosa’s sociological work on ‘adaptive transformation’ and ‘resonance’ this paper shows how social workers creatively ‘re-made’ key aspects of their practice, by recognising inequalities and providing material help, through digital casework, movement and walking encounters, and by going into homes and taking risks by getting close to children and parents. It is vital that such improvisation and remaking are learned from and sustained post-pandemic as this can renew practice and enable social workers to better enhance the lives of service users.
Children and Covid 19 in the UK

Louise Holt; Lesley Murray

Published: May 2021   Journal: Children's Geographies
The UK has been one of the most badly affected nations of the Global North by the COVID-19 outbreak in terms of illness, death rates and a severe economic downturn. Children have been impacted severely (and unequally), with UK lockdown meaning that many children were away from school and usual leisure activities for six months during the first lockdown. This study revised this viewpoint during the third lockdown when schools were closed again for an indefinite time. Despite substantial media and policy debate about the impact of COVID-19 on young people, with a focus on education, young people’s own voices tend to be obscured in these mainstream accounts. By contrast, the Children’s Commissioner for England has focused on young people’s accounts, which are discussed in this viewpoint.
Teachers' narratives during COVID-19 partial school reopenings: an exploratory study

Lisa E. Kim; Rowena Leary; Kathryn Asbury

Published: May 2021   Journal: Educational Research

Many countries around the world imposed nationwide school closures to manage the spread of COVID-19. England closed its schools for most pupils in March 2020 and prepared to reopen schools to certain year groups in June 2020. Understanding teachers’ lived experiences at this time of educational disruption is important, shedding light on challenges faced and support needed by schools and teachers in the event of further disruption. The research reported here represents the second timepoint in a longitudinal study investigating what it was like being a teacher in England during the pandemic. This study aimed to better understand teachers’ experiences at a time of partial reopening of schools in mid-June 2020.

When it matters most: a trauma-informed, outdoor learning programme to support children's wellbeing during COVID-19 and beyond

Michaela Mulholland; Catriona O'Toole

Published: May 2021   Journal: Irish Educational Studies
This paper presents a unique school-based programme that harnesses the benefits of both trauma-informed practice (TIP) and outdoor environments to support children’s social and emotional wellbeing throughout the pandemic and beyond. In the opening sections of the paper, we discuss the extant literature and conceptual underpinning of TIP and outdoor learning, and highlight why both are needed, particularly in the context of Covid-19. We then chart the design of a six-week outdoor trauma-informed programme, devised to support children’s emotional regulation and overall sense of wellbeing. The programme activities are aligned to the Northern Ireland curriculum, and are tailored to make use of the outdoor spaces available in the first author’s place of work – a primary school in South Belfast.
Family–school partnerships in the age of Covid-19: reasons for optimism amidst a global pandemic

Chris Jones; Colin Forster

Published: May 2021   Journal: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education
This article reports on research undertaken in May and June 2020, during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic when schools in England were still closed to the majority of children. The research sought to explore the impact of the so-called ‘lockdown’ on family–school partnerships. Research shows such partnerships make an important contribution to the effective education of children and young people, potentially leading to improved behaviour, engagement and learning outcomes. The study was conducted as a short online survey, circulated through social media and email, which invited teachers, school leaders and others working in primary and secondary schools to share their experiences of family–school partnership during this time. Analysis of the data showed that schools had made considerable efforts to maintain communication and support for all families, particularly those deemed ‘hard-to-reach’, and many participants reported that family–school partnerships had actually been strengthened through this testing period of time.
Reflections from the forgotten frontline: ‘the reality for children and staff in residential care’ during COVID‐19

Sarah Parry DClinPsy; Tracey Williams; Jeremy Oldfield

Published: May 2021   Journal: Health and Social Care in the Community
Currently, 78,150 children are in care in England, with 11% of the most vulnerable living in 2,460 residential homes due to multitype traumas. These children require safe and secure trauma-informed therapeutic care. However, the children's residential care workforce delivering this vital care is an unrepresented, under-researched and largely unsupported professional group. The workforce undertakes physically and emotionally challenging work in difficult conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Practitioner wellbeing is directly associated with outcomes for children. Therefore, we sought to understand how experiences within the workforce could improve overall working conditions, and thus outcomes for staff and children.
Exploring the local policy context for reducing health inequalities in children and young people: an in depth qualitative case study of one local authority in the North of England, UK

Eleanor Holding; Hannah Fairbrother; Naomi Griffin (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: BMC Public Health volume
: Improving children and young people’s (CYP) health and addressing health inequalities are international priorities. Reducing inequalities is particularly pertinent in light of the Covid-19 outbreak which has exacerbated already widening inequalities in health. This study aimed to explore understandings of inequality, the anticipated pathways for reducing inequalities among CYP and key factors affecting the development and implementation of policy to reduce inequalities among CYP at a local level
Adolescent psychopathological profiles and the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal findings from the UK Millennium cohort study

Cecilia A. Essau; Alejandro de la Torre-Luque

Published: May 2021   Journal: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

Public health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in adverse effects, including high level of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression. This study explored adolescent psychopathological profiles at age 17, and their role in predicting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at age 19.

Loneliness, social relationships, and mental health in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kate Cooper; Emily Hards; Bettina Moltrecht (et al.)

Published: May 2021   Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders
Loneliness is a common experience in adolescence and is related to a range of mental health problems. Such feelings may have been increased by social distancing measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to investigate the effect of loneliness, social contact, and parent relationships on adolescent mental health during lockdown in the UK. Young people aged 11–16 years (n = 894) completed measures of loneliness, social contact, parent-adolescent relationships, and mental health difficulties during the first 11 weeks of lockdown and one-month later (n = 443).
A qualitative investigation of LGBTQ+ young people's experiences and perceptions of self-managing their mental health

Rosa Town; Daniel Hayes; Peter Fonagy (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
There is evidence that young people generally self-manage their mental health using self-care strategies, coping methods and other self-management techniques, which may better meet their needs or be preferable to attending specialist mental health services. LGBTQ+ young people are more likely than their peers to experience a mental health difficulty and may be less likely to draw on specialist support due to fears of discrimination. However, little is known about LGBTQ+ young people’s experiences and perceptions of self-managing their mental health. Using a multimodal qualitative design, 20 LGBTQ+ young people participated in a telephone interview or an online focus group. A semi-structured schedule was employed to address the research questions, which focussed on LGBTQ+ young people’s experiences and perceptions of self-managing their mental health, what they perceived to stop or help them to self-manage and any perceived challenges to self-management specifically relating to being LGBTQ+ .
How did the mental health symptoms of children and adolescents change over early lockdown during the COVID‐19 pandemic in the UK?

Polly Waite; Samantha Pearcey; Adrienne Shum (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: JCPP Avances
The COVID‐19 pandemic has caused extensive disruption to the lives of children and young people. Understanding the psychological effects on children and young people, in the context of known risk factors is crucial to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. This study set out to explore how mental health symptoms in children and adolescents changed over a month of full lockdown in the United Kingdom in response to the pandemic.
Modelling the potential impact of mask use in schools and society on COVID-19 control in the UK

J. Panovska-Griffiths; C. C. Kerr; W. Waites (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Scientific Reports
As the UK reopened after the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, crucial questions emerged around the role for ongoing interventions, including test-trace-isolate (TTI) strategies and mandatory masks. This study assessed the importance of masks in secondary schools by evaluating their impact over September 1–October 23, 2020. It showed that, assuming TTI levels from August 2020 and no fundamental changes in the virus’s transmissibility, adoption of masks in secondary schools would have reduced the predicted size of a second wave, but preventing it would have required 68% or 46% of those with symptoms to seek testing (assuming masks’ effective coverage 15% or 30% respectively). With masks in community settings but not secondary schools, the required testing rates increase to 76% and 57%.
‘I’m gonna tell you about how Mrs Rona has affected me’: exploring young people’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in North East England: a qualitative diary-based study

Stephanie Scott; Victoria J. McGowan; Shelina Visram

Published: April 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Children and young people risk being ‘disproportionately harmed’ by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst an evolving body of literature focuses on the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, less attention has been paid to the collection of qualitative, exploratory data. The aim of this study was to examine young people in North East England’s experiences of COVID-19 and associated control measures. Flexible, qualitative diaries were collected with 31 young people aged 13–17 for six weeks between July and October 2020.
The changing nature of ministry amongst children and families in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic

Sarah E. Holmes

Published: April 2021   Journal: Christian Education Journal: Research on Educational Ministry
Empirical data was gathered from parents, grandparents, and practitioners, which revealed the impact of Covid-19 on UK children and family ministry. Prevailing restrictions and associated needs caused significant change in the nature of this ministry, and may not be temporary. Key observations were reduction in engagement of families with the church, shift in the volunteer structure for church-based children’s activities, increased focus on family faith formation activities, and diversified individual faith journeys of children.
91 - 105 of 157

UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.