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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 44
Family strengthening in the context of COVID-19: adapting a community-based intervention from Kenya to the United States

AUTHOR(S)
Eve S. Puffer; Savannah L. Johnson; Kaitlin N. Quick (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Prevention Science
COVID-19 led to widespread disruption of services that promote family well-being. Families impacted most were those already experiencing disparities due to structural and systemic barriers. Existing support systems faded into the background as families became more isolated. New approaches were needed to deliver evidence-based, low-cost interventions to reach families within communities. This research adapted a family strengthening intervention developed in Kenya (“Tuko Pamoja”) for the United States.

The impact of COVID-19 and immigration enforcement on service delivery for immigrant origin families involved in the child welfare system

AUTHOR(S)
Kristina Lovato; Megan Finno-Velasquez; Sophia Sepp (et al.)

Published: August 2022   Journal: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
This descriptive study sought to explore how child welfare agencies and community partner organizations experienced and adapted service provision for immigrant children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were completed with 31 child welfare agency practitioners and community partners in 11 states who work with immigrant clients or on immigration related policies within the child welfare sector. Data were coded and analyzed using a thematic analysis approach.
Addressing the social service needs of Latinx families impacted by COVID-19 and immigration-related stressors

AUTHOR(S)
Kristina Lovato; Jesse Jeffrey Ramirez

Published: July 2022   Journal: Journal of Social Service Research
This qualitative study explored how service providers perceived the stressors that Latinx immigrants experienced due to COVID-19 and the restrictive immigration enforcement climate in the U.S. The study also examined how social service providers responded to immigrant families’ social service needs in light of the impediments imposed by the pandemic. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted via telephone and Zoom with social service providers. (n = 28) who provided direct services to immigrant clients in Los Angeles, CA. Colaizzi’s (1978) phenomenological method was utilized as a data analysis guide. Findings showed that Latinx immigrants experienced: (a) high rates of economic stressors and negative mental health outcomes due to the pandemic; (b) immigration-related distress and barriers seeking services; (c) shifting social service needs; and (d) relied on spiritual practices and mutual aid. Culturally responsive practice and policy implications are included.
Nowcasting impact of COVID-19 on multidimensional child poverty

AUTHOR(S)
Olivera Fiala; Aristide Kielem; Enrique Delamónica (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Statistical Journal of the IAOS
From the onset, it was clear that the impact of the global economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was unlikely to affect all children equally. Thus, it was necessary to ascertain the impact of COVID-19 on child poverty as the events unfolded. Many of the indirect effects of the pandemic – disruptions to health services, delayed vaccination programmes, widespread school closures, and increases in food insecurity – have significant impacts on the realisation of children’s rights and, consequently, were expected to increase material deprivations across different dimensions. The question was by how much? In this article we explain the modelling and methodological approach to project or nowcast the answer to that question. The method is dynamic as it was revised as additional information emerged during 2020 and 2021.
Working and caring for a disabled adopted child during a pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Claudia Sellmaier; JaeRan Kim

Published: July 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
Integrating work and family demands can be challenging for families caring for a child with one or more disabilities. The pandemic and its changes to work, schooling and service delivery potentially added to these challenges. This exploratory mixed methods study sought to understand how the pandemic affected adoptive parents' work–life fit and service use. A total of 200 participants responded to survey questions about parenting an adopted child with a disability prior to, and after, the onset of Covid-19. More than half of the parents (59.2%) reported that it was somewhat to very difficult to integrate both work and family demands. Parents with greater access to workplace flexibility and supportive supervisors had significantly less difficulties combining work and family. Families who reported more problems with accessing mental health services, special education and respite care reported significantly more challenges with work–family fit. Parents reported increased stress due to the pandemic changes, but many also shared positive changes such as more time for family. Online services were experienced as effective for some children and reduced time spent driving to appointments. Recommendations for workplace and social service practice and policy supporting adoptive parents of children with disabilities are discussed.
Early (years) reactions: comparative analysis of early childhood policies and programs during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Joanne Kearon; Sarah Carsley; Meta van den Heuvel (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health volume

During the first wave of COVID-19 there was little evidence to guide appropriate child and family programs and policy supports. This study compared policies and programs implemented to support early child health and well-being during the first wave of COVID-19 in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, the UK, and the USA. Program and policy themes were focused on prenatal care, well-baby visits and immunization schedules, financial supports, domestic violence and housing, childcare supports, child protective services, and food security.

Interrupted access to and use of family planning among youth in a community-based service in Zimbabwe during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Constancia V. Mavodza; Sarah Bernays; Constance R. S. Mackworth-Young (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Studies in Family Planning
The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious impacts on economic, social, and health systems, and fragile public health systems have become overburdened in many countries, exacerbating existing service delivery challenges. This study describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family planning services within a community-based integrated HIV and sexual and reproductive health intervention for youth aged 16–24 years being trialled in Zimbabwe (CHIEDZA). It examines the experiences of health providers and clients in relation to how the first year of the pandemic affected access to and use of contraceptives.
Trajectories of mental health status during the early phase pandemic in China: A longitudinal study on adolescents living in the community with confirmed cases

AUTHOR(S)
Dongfang Wang; Jingbo Zhao; Shuyi Zhai (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Psychiatry Research
Sufficient research reports that individuals living in the community with confirmed COVID-19 cases are more likely to exhibit poor mental health condition. However, little is known about the longitudinal trajectories of mental health status among these people who are exposed to increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Using a 3-wave longitudinal survey between February and June 2020, data has been collected from 2,352 adolescents living in the community with confirmed cases.
Experiences of at-risk women in accessing breastfeeding social support during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Emila Siwik; Samantha Larose; Dalia Peres (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Human Lactation

With strict public health measures implemented in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many breastfeeding parents, who are within an at-risk population, have experienced limited formal and/or informal breastfeeding social support. In the Canadian context, the experiences of these women is unknown. This study aims to explore the experiences of at-risk postpartum breastfeeding women in accessing formal and informal breastfeeding social support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Developing creative methodologies: using lyric writing to capture young peoples' experiences of the youth offending services during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Dean Wilkinson; Jayne Price; Charlene Crossley

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

The COVID-19 lockdowns (2020–2021) disrupted all aspects of usual functioning of the criminal justice system, the outcomes and impact of which are largely still unknown. The pandemic has affected individuals across the wider society, this includes a negative impact on the social circumstances of children and young people involved within youth offending services (YOS) (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, 2020; Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates, 2021). This population frequently represents those from marginalised circumstances and are rarely given the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the services they are involved in. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of the young people serving orders with the YOS during Covid19 lockdowns and requirements. This paper outlines a creative methodology and method used to uncover the experiences and perceptions of young people undergoing an order within a YOS during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The arts-based approach entailed a novel and creative method using a lyric artist to engage with young people through a virtual platform, supporting them to create lyrics about their experiences of the YOS during this time.


Relationship between adolescents’ perceptions of social support and their psychological well-being during COVID-19 pandemic: a case study from Turkey

AUTHOR(S)
Fatma Kurudirek; Duygu Arıkan; Sümeyye Ekici

Published: March 2022   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The aim of this research was to establish the relationship between the perceptions of social support and the psychological well-being among adolescents during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This research, which includes descriptive and relative features, was conducted from December 15, 2020 to January 31, 2021. There were 378 participants, all of whom were adolescents aged from 13 to 18 years who were living in Turkey. Either the adolescents themselves or their parents used social media tools or sites such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, etc., and they had all agreed to participate voluntarily.
Relationship-based practice and digital technology in child and family social work: learning from practice during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Ruth Copson; Anne M. Murphy; Laura Cook (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
Vital services provided by social workers to children in care or on the edge of care were largely delivered “online” during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper explores the potential impact of these changes on vulnerable children and their families. Relationship-based practice is integral to social work and the shift to digital communication during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to accelerated practice changes and implications for relationship building both with and between service users. Going forward, social workers and other professionals are likely to move to an increasingly hybrid model of communication, combining both digital and face-to-face methods. This article identifies the impact of digital communication on relationships in professional practice, drawing on three studies of digital communication in the UK carried out at the University of East Anglia.
COVID-19 and child welfare policy in Chile: the experience of front-line workers

AUTHOR(S)
Javiera Garcia-Meneses; Ivan Chanez-Cortes; Paulina Montoya Ceballos

Published: February 2022   Journal: International Social Work
COVID-19 arrived in Chile amid social protests that questioned the State’s ability to protect children’s rights. Nevertheless, child policy workers continued working despite the drastic changes to their daily work generated by both the pandemic and conflicts within the child welfare system. This article aims to understand how these workers have experienced and overcome these challenges. It shows that they have continued doing interventions with children at the expense of their economic resources and well-being. These findings highlight the need for the government to take immediate action, offering guidelines to improve child policy workers’ labor conditions.
Shortfalls in social spending in low- and middle-income countries: COVID-19 and shrinking finance for social spending
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: February 2022

Financing quality social services will require increased public investment and greater mobilization of both domestic and international resources in the post-COVID era. Currently, low- and middle-income countries invest, on average, just one third of their total government expenditure in social spending on education, health and social protection. However, the fiscal space to enhance social spending remains constrained in many parts of the world. Given the scale of the challenge facing many countries, a renewed focus on financing social spending is needed to address widening inequalities. This policy brief is the second in a series that assesses key issues affecting social spending as part of UNICEF’s work on Public Finance for Children. The brief examines how recent trends are impacting on the financing available for, and directed to, social spending in low- and middle-income countries in different regions, using secondary analysis of public expenditure data collected by international organizations. It calculates median spending figures by region and income group, using World Bank regional aggregates for domestic spending.

Responding to women experiencing domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: exploring experiences and impacts of remote service delivery in Australia
Published: January 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
The COVID-19 health pandemic has increased women's vulnerability to all forms of domestic and family violence (DFV). In the first weeks of March 2020, most Australian states and territories, like many other jurisdictions, entered into a period of government-directed restrictions including stay-at-home orders, physical distancing limitations and closure of a significant number of community services. With more people confined to their homes, the risk of DFV increased at the same time as access to support services was reduced. This article presents the findings of two surveys conducted in the Australian states of Victoria and Queensland to explore the professional experiences of practitioners supporting women experiencing violence during the pandemic. This analysis offers new insights into the ways in which practitioners pivoted their services to respond remotely to women experiencing violence and the challenges of effectively undertaking safety planning and risk assessment without face-to-face contact. The second half of this article examines the implications of remote service delivery on practitioner mental health and well-being.
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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.