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Padmini Iyer; Muslihah Albakri; Helen Burridge (et al.)
While the UK government has announced some relaxation of statutory regulations for children in care, advice at the time of writing indicates that local authorities in England and Wales remain obligated to allow looked-after children ‘reasonable contact’ with their birth families during the current COVID-19 lockdown. In light of this advice, it is crucial to understand how digital technologies can be managed to maintain contact while prioritising children’s best interests. This briefing paper highlights the key findings of a rapid evidence review that examines what is known about the implications of digital contact for the well-being of children who have been separated from their birth relatives in public law contexts. It also reviews relevant literature on digital contact in private law contexts, such as separation and divorce, and draws out key lessons for managing digital contact between birth relatives and children in public law placements.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response