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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Psychosocial well-being of Flemish foster children residing in their foster homes during the COVID-19 lockdown

AUTHOR(S)
Camille Verheyden; Frank Van Holen; Delphine West (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The measures implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly affected the lives of children and families all around the world, probably affecting children’s psychosocial well-being. The negative consequences of lockdowns are presumed to hit even harder on vulnerable groups such as foster children who already struggle with their psychosocial well-being in normal circumstances and who face specific challenges during lockdowns such as: additional help that is no longer available or only offered digitally and physical contact with birth parents that is forbidden. Nevertheless, some scholars point to the positive side of lockdowns (e.g.: relief due to closure of schools). This study aims to asses the psychosocial well-being of Flemish foster children residing in their foster homes during the COVID-19 lockdown and the factors that are associated with the change in their psychosocial well-being.
An exploratory study of the impact of COVID‐19 on foster parenting

AUTHOR(S)
Ryan Hanlon; JaeRan Kim; Cossette Woo (et al.)

Published: May 2022   Journal: Child & Family Social Work
As the COVID-19 virus began to spread in the United States of America, states' child welfare administrators and policymakers responded differently. Some states implemented more restrictive policies, some less or did not require many restrictions (i.e., stay at home orders or masking in public spaces). Video-based online focus groups with foster parents in four states utilized a consensual qualitative approach to identify themes relating to foster parenting during COVID-19 and understand how policies related to COVID-19 restrictions affected their caregiving decisions. Themes that emerged included pathways to foster parenting pre-pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 on both foster parents, children in care, and foster parents' ability to understand the broader importance of their caregiving. While participants in all of the states reported similar experiences relating to the need for resources and support and the challenge of managing both work and remote education for their children, those in states with restrictive policies were more likely to report pandemic-specific concerns including a lack of agency communication or case progress, the mental health toll on foster children in their care and their concerns about accepting new placements. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
The protective role of internal/external factors on Covid-19 related stressors among resource parents

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Zak; Elena Gallitto; Elisa Romano

Published: May 2022   Journal: Developmental Child Welfare
The Covid-19 pandemic has had detrimental effects on almost everyone worldwide, but one particularly vulnerable group are resource parents (foster and kinship) and the young people in out-of-home care. Resource parents have experienced the same increases in pandemic-related stressors as other parents but have the added challenge of caring for a young person involved with child welfare. There are, however, various possible protective factors that have been found to positively influence families during times of stress.
Experiences during COVID-19: needs of college students with a history of foster care

AUTHOR(S)
Saralyn C. Ruff; Deanna Linville; Jean Kjellstrand

Published: February 2022   Journal: Children and Youth Services Review
The effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been nothing short of profound, with disparate impact among historically marginalized and under-resourced populations. Eighty undergraduate college students, with a history of foster care placement, describe their experiences during Shelter in Place due to COVID-19. Former and current foster youth already experience challenges in accessing and completing higher education; these challenges were exacerbated by the measures taken to deal with risks associated with the pandemic.
Perceived impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the family context of foster and non-foster families

AUTHOR(S)
Lucía González-Pasarín; Antonio Urbano-Contreras; Isabel M. Bernedo (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Child and Family Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown have had a far-reaching impact across all levels of society. In Spain, severe restrictions were placed on people’s mobility, and leaving the home was only possible under special circumstances. This study analyzes the impact of lockdown on the family context of foster and non-foster families, focusing particularly on their levels of cohesion, adaptability, and perceived stress. It also examines a series of variables that may have influenced foster families’ perceptions of their family context during lockdown. Data were gathered through an online survey that was completed by 347 individuals corresponding to 100 foster families and 247 non-foster families from different regions of Spain. Analyses were descriptive and exploratory in nature.
Foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative analysis of caregiver and professional experiences

AUTHOR(S)
Adrienne Whitt-Woosley; Ginny Sprang; Jessica Eslinger

Published: December 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

Research is needed to facilitate better understanding of how different groups have been impacted by COVID-19, especially those in already strained service systems such as foster care. These inquiries will support further response, recovery and preparedness efforts. This qualitative study addressed how professionals and caregivers in foster care described being affected by COVID-19 in order to support future research and planning for foster care systems in this pandemic context. A sample of foster parents and foster care professionals (N = 357) from a mostly rural, southeastern state in the U.S. participated in the study.

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).

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
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.
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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.