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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 impact of COVID-19 on child welfare-involved families: implications for parent–child reunification and child welfare professionals

AUTHOR(S)
Abbie E. Goldberg; David Brodzinsky; Jacqueline Singer (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children and parents involved in the child welfare system and the professionals working with these families. Using survey data collected August–September of 2020, this mixed-methods study examined the perspectives of 196 child welfare-involved professionals (77 attorneys, 99 caseworkers, and 20 therapists) in the United States about the impact of COVID-19 on parents of origin, children, foster parents, and child welfare professionals. Particular attention was paid to the implications of COVID-19 and associated challenges for parent–child contact and reunification. With respect to professional stresses, more than half of participants worried about their own personal safety and health amidst COVID-19, and more than three-quarters expressed concerns about the safety and well-being of child welfare-involved families.
Preliminary evaluation of a multicomponent youth development program for siblings separated by foster care: pandemic related impacts to service delivery and youth well-being

AUTHOR(S)
Jeffrey Waid; Cynthia Dantas

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Child Welfare
A preliminary evaluation of a multicomponent youth development program for siblings in foster care was conducted prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pretest posttest measures of youth well-being were collected from sixteen youth, caregivers, and caseworkers over a six-month period. Caregivers reported increased internalizing and externalizing behaviors, sibling relationship difficulties, prosocial behavior, and resilience during the study period. Youth reported reduced school engagement, increased resilience, and prosocial behavior. In-person sibling programming was associated with increased prosocial behavior. Virtual sibling programming was associated with lower hyperactivity, increased prosocial behavior, and increased emotional problems. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Caring for children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic: lessons learned and recommendations

AUTHOR(S)
Hilda Loria; Jill McLeigh; Kristin Wolfe (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Public Child Welfare
Through qualitative feedback from professionals in healthcare, mental health, and child welfare, this study explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of children in the child welfare system. Positive outcomes and challenges related to the care of children in foster or kinship care in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic are described. Themes identified included disparities in the child welfare system; utilization of telehealth; cross-sector communication and collaboration; safety considerations; and placement stability and support. The article concludes with recommendations in each of these areas for ensuring the health and well-being of children in foster and kinship care during a pandemic.
Using social media Reddit data to examine Foster Families' concerns and needs during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Joyce Y. Lee; Olivia D. Chang; Tawfiq Ammari

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

COVID-19 is likely to have negatively impacted foster families but few data sources are available to confirm this. The current study used Reddit social media data to examine how foster families are faring in the pandemic. Discussion topics were identified and examined for changes before and after COVID-19. Comments were collected from three Reddit online discussion boards dedicated to foster families (N = 11,830).

Child maltreatment in the time of COVID-19: changes in the Florida foster care system surrounding the COVID-19 safer-at-home order

AUTHOR(S)
Erica D. Musser; Cameron Riopelle; Robert Latham

Published: January 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Media outlets have suggested that rates of child maltreatment may increase during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The few empirical studies that have examined pandemic related changes in rates of child maltreatment have relied predominantly on reports of suspected maltreatment. This study examines rates of documented, substantiated child maltreatment resulting in foster care placement, as well as demographic correlates of child maltreatment within the foster care system, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experiences of young adults with a history of foster care during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Saralyn C. Ruff; Deanna Linville

Published: January 2021   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
This study assessed the needs, concerns, and strengths of young adults (ages 18–26), previously placed in foster care, in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). One hundred and twenty-seven participants completed the survey in May and June, offering a preliminary description of the impact of Shelter in Place (SIP) due to COVID-19 on their well-being. The mixed-methods, cross-sectional survey assessed participants’ perspectives regarding (1) changes in physical, financial, professional, social, relational, and psychological levels of concern and (2) the general impact of SIP due to COVID-19, as well as the unique impact as a current or former foster youth.
Child vulnerabilities and family-based childcare systems: Covid-19 challenges of foster care and adoption in India

AUTHOR(S)
Ratna Verma; Rinku Verma

Published: December 2020   Journal: Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond
This article has been developed based on a systematic review of research studies conducted in the last 10 years on family-based childcare systems and a rapid review of research and assessments conducted in 2020 to explore the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on adoption and foster care in India. The study explains child vulnerabilities with a focus on challenges to adoption and foster care before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings depict that India is home to a large number of vulnerable children who have been living with hardships, and the COVID-19 pandemic has put them at a higher risk of adversity
Restructuring institutional care: challenges and coping measures for children and caregivers in post-COVID-19 era

AUTHOR(S)
Sudeshna Roy

Published: December 2020   Journal: Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has rattled the world and has severely compromised not only the public health system but has decelerated the global economy. In this backdrop, the article explores the dynamics of the institutional care of the out-of-home care (OHC) children, adolescents and children who are residing in alternative care homes, childcare institutes (CCIs), foster homes and who are in conflict with law like refugees or in juvenile correctional centres. The article attempts to highlight the risk factors and systematic barriers that CCIs and associated functionaries have been confronting in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. It would also catalogue the remedial, preventive and protective initiatives undertaken as best practices. 


Normalcy for children in foster care in the time of coronavirus

AUTHOR(S)
Mary Elizabeth Collins; Sarah Baldiga

Published: November 2020   Journal: Journal of Children's Services
This paper aims to describe how a sense of normalcy for young people in foster care can be critical to their well-being. This paper reports on policy and practice efforts in the USA to promote normalcy for youth in care. The authors review policy that promotes normalcy and report on one organization's efforts to support these goals.
Cite this research | Vol.: 15 | Issue: 4 | No. of pages: 215-219 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Child Protection | Tags: child welfare, COVID-19 response, foster care, foster children | Countries: United States
Virtual parent-child visitation in support of family reunification in the time of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Jacqueline Singer; David Brodzinsky

Published: September 2020   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
The present article examines existing data on how children respond to virtual communication with parents and extended family and what practical issues and training needs are encountered when implementing virtual visits in juvenile dependency cases. During periods of sheltering in place in response to COVID-19 face-to-face visits have been largely curtailed. In their place, child welfare agencies have begun using virtual visitation through various technology platforms such as smartphones, FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype, often facilitated by foster parents. A number of questions have arisen, however, about the effectiveness of virtual visitations and how best to use them as a means of supporting reunification goals.
The forgotten students: COVID-19 response for youth and young adults aging out of foster care

AUTHOR(S)
Mauriell H. Amechi

Published: September 2020
As the COVID-19 epidemic surges on, studies suggest that people under the age of 40 account for a disproportionate number of new coronavirus cases. Unlike their counterparts, youth and young adults aging out of foster care typically have fewer support networks or safety nets to depend on in a crisis. Inaccessible medical insurance often compounds their situation further, which ultimately places them at an increased risk of experiencing the worst effects of COVID-19.
Cite this research | No. of pages: - | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: foster care, youth services | Countries: United States
Mitigating the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response on At-Risk Children

AUTHOR(S)
Charlene Wong; David Ming; Gary Maslow (et al.)

Published: July 2020   Journal: Pediatrics
This research focuses on risks and mitigation strategies for 3 at-risk subpopulations of children: (1) children with behavioral health needs, (2) children in foster care or at risk for maltreatment, and (3) children with medical complexity (CMC). Mitigation strategies delineated for these at-risk populations are also likely beneficial for any child and family. Importantly, children not already in these groups are at risk for facing new medical, behavioral, or social challenges that develop during the pandemic. In particular, children in households of low socioeconomic status are likely at the highest risk for new or worsening issues, underscoring the critical leadership role of Medicaid programs in these risk mitigation strategies.
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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.