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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The effects of digital contact on children’s well-being: evidence from public and private law contexts

AUTHOR(S)
Padmini Iyer; Muslihah Albakri; Helen Burridge (et al.)

Institution: National Centre for Social Research
Published: July 2020

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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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.