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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Social work and child protection for a post-pandemic world: the re-making of practice during COVID-19 and its renewal beyond it

AUTHOR(S)
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.
Adding salt to wounds”: parentification among children living with parents with mental illness during the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of social workers

AUTHOR(S)
Ebenezer Cudjoe; Debora Daisy Kwabia; Marcus Yu Lung Chiu (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
Children living with a parent with mental illness experience challenges as some may take on the roles of their parents. Physical distancing restrictions introduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic means that many children will spend more time at home which could heighten the impact of parental mental illness. For many of these children, engaging in activities with peers provides them a sort of normal life outside their family environment. However, face-to-face interactions with others outside the family may be limited under existing public health protocols. Moreover, services for children in families where there is parental mental illness may also be limited considering limitations placed on people’s movements to reduce the rate of COVID-19 infections.
Serving children and adolescents in need during the COVID-19 pandemic: evaluation of service-learning subjects with and without face-to-face interaction

AUTHOR(S)
Li Lin; Daniel T. L. Shek

Published: February 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has posed a great challenge to teaching and learning activities in higher education, particularly for service-learning subjects that involve intensive human interaction. Although service-learning may be transformed to a virtual mode in response to the pandemic, little is known about the impact of this new mode on student learning and well-being. This paper reports a university credit-bearing service-learning subject that involves services toward needy children and adolescents in a non-face-to-face mode under COVID-19 pandemic. The study examined the effectiveness of this subject by comparing it with the same subject delivered via a face-to-face mode.
Child welfare workers and peritraumatic distress: the impact of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
J. Jay Miller; Chunling Niu; Shannon Moody

Published: October 2020   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
Whilst there is broad consensus that COVID-19 has had a pernicious impact on child welfare services, in general, and child welfare workers, specifically, this notion has not been thoroughly examined in the literature. This exploratory study examined COVID-19 related peritraumatic distress among child welfare workers (N = 1996) in one southeastern state in the United States (U.S.). Findings suggest that the study sample was experiencing distress levels above normal ranges; 46.4% of participants were experiencing mild or severe distress. Sexual orientation, self-reported physical and mental health, relationship status, supervision status, and financial stability impacted distress levels experienced by child welfare workers. Overall, data suggest that COVID-19 is impacting child welfare workers and there is a need to conceptualize, implement, and evaluate initiatives aimed at assuaging distress among child welfare workers.
Reflections on practice during a pandemic: how do we continue to ensure effective communication during the COVID‐19 pandemic?

AUTHOR(S)
Wendy Roberts

Published: September 2020   Journal: Child Abuse Review

Social work is about building relationships, and communicating effectively is essential for this. Communication is a key element in building trust and relationships with families. Social workers wanted to keep good communication with workers as the relationship and maintaining the flow of communication are also considered important to a mentoring relationship. But the pandemic presented a dilemma of not knowing when or how often to contact workers to offer support.

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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.