This page was last updated: 24th June 2020

Information and resources for professionals working with children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis 

All professionals working with children

Quick tips from Emerging Minds with evidence based advice for anyone supporting children and young people with their worries.

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Grandparents Plus supports all kinship carers. Their information on coronavirus includes an article about the impact of coronavirus on kinship families; kinship carers told them of their main concerns during the coronavirus outbreak and these have been used to make recommendations for local authorities and national government.

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An educational psychologist discusses the impact of school closure on vulnerable children such as those who have been traumatised and/or in care/adopted, or those with mental health issues, ASD or other special needs, or are a Child in Need/subject to a Child Project Plan, and how schools can support those not attending school.

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Coronavirus and support for deaf children – information for professionals. This post summarises the NDCS' advice to professionals in this area. It also shares some of the tips that are being circulated by professionals on other channels. In particular, there is information for schools and the NHS. They will keep this page updated with any new issues or advice that emerges.

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If you work or volunteer with children and young people you’re likely to have conversations about difficult or upsetting topics. NSPCC Learning has updated its content on how to have difficult conversations with children to include information about talking to children about coronavirus. The content covers: preparing for a conversation, having a conversation and support from Childline.

This teaching pack contains everything you need to explain when and why hands should be washed. These materials are designed to enable both adults and children of all ages and abilities to feel confident about hand hygiene and to empower them to ask care givers to use good hand hygiene. The pack is suitable for one to one or group sessions.

Tips from UNICEF for age appropriate discussions to reassure and protect children for teachers (and other child care staff at nurseries and schools that are open during the shutdown) when talking to them about COVID-19. It is broken down into information for preschool, primary school, and lower and upper secondary schools pupils.

Podcasts and videos

The World Health Organization (WHO) characterised COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020 and countries around the world are putting measures in place to combat the spread of coronavirus. How do psychological factors influence the spread of pandemic infection and the associated emotional distress and social disruption? In this podcast, Dr Raj Persaud talks to Professor Steven Taylor about his recently published book offering a comprehensive analysis of the psychology of pandemics.

Individual and collective grief and loss in relation to COVID-19 Dr Karen Treisman, specialist clinical psychologist.

Resources

Information on the emotional consequences of exposure to massive incidents among children and adolescents. It describes the criteria for the identification of more serious mental health disorders, and proposes strategies for the referral and management of children at different developmental stages. Areas covered are emotional vulnerability in children and adolescents in disaster situations, children's emotional response to disaster, specific interventions, prevention and detection of mental health problems, 

During the crisis, renewed focus has been placed on children who aren't living with either one or both parents, as well as those described as 'vulnerable children'. The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory have put together a snapshot about the children most likely to be impacted by lockdown across England and Wales.

Briefing from the Children's Commissioner for England on the impact the increased amount of domestic violence during the lockdown is having on children and recommendations as to what needs to be done to support these families.

Advice for parents and professionals about children’s understanding of illness at different developmental stages.

Briefing from the Children's Commissioner for England on the impact the increased amount of domestic violence during the lockdown is having on children and recommendations as to what needs to be done to support these families.

This document, from a coalition of Scottish health and mental health organisations, aims to provide reliable advice, information and a list of trustworthy links for supporting children, young people and their families during this time.

Coronavirus has created a major health crisis that impacts on every individual and family across the UK. Children are included in this. However, there also needs to be a specific focus on the impact on children when their parents or other members of their family, foster carers or adopters are having to respond to the crisis by making major adjustments to their lives. The impact that this has on them cannot be underestimated. CoramBAAF explore the impact on looked after children and the key issues to keep in mind.

Journal articles and reports

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on how people go about their day to day life. This sudden change, along with necessary measures such as self-isolation and social distancing may be particularly challenging for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families. This paper sheds new light on how parents of children with SEND would like to be supported during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the UK (n=241) were asked to describe the impact of COVID-19 on their own mental health and that of their child. Parents and children experienced loss, worry and changes in mood and behaviour as a result of the rapid social changes that have occurred. Some parents reported feeling overwhelmed and described the impact of child understanding and awareness and a minority of parents reported that COVID-19 has had little impact on mental health in their family, or has even led to improvements.  Implications for how to support these families in the immediate future are discussed.

Mel Aitken reports on her new role as a Young Carer Development Worker in Edinburgh. She explores some of the key challenges of being a young carer in the time of COVID-19 and how they can be supported.

Report from the Children's Commissioner to identify vulnerable children who need help both during the lockdown and once the crisis has passed. The current unprecedented crisis is opening the eyes of many to the generational problems that have blighted the life chances of millions of our children for decades. Intensive support for vulnerable children – to protect them now and to help them do well at school and in life in the future – must be a key part of the ‘new normal’.

To find out about the impact of school closures on care experienced children, Adoption UK ran a week-long survey in April for parents and carers of care-experienced children who would normally be in school. The 674 responses form the basis for this report,which opens a window on the challenges of supporting vulnerable children’s learning at this time, and makes recommendations for the months ahead.

Children of black, Asian and ethnic minority heritage are suffering much worse damage to their mental health as a result of the pandemic than their white peers, research has found. The higher risk of BAME people dying from Covid-19 and inability to attend school over the last three months are behind large rises in anxiety and self-harm among non-white under-18s, experts say.

Report by Barnardo's, Mental Health Foundation Scotland and the University of Strathcylde that considers the  evidence of the impact of the first lockdown within the context of the individual, the family and education

This briefing pulls together research evidence to explore whether the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic heighten the risk of child maltreatment in the UK. Three main areas of risk were identified: increase in stressors to parents and care givers; increase in children’s and young people’s vulnerabilities; and reduction in normal protective services.

To better understand children’s levels of stress, the Children’s Commissioner’s Office (CCO) conducted a survey on stress among 1,851 children and young people aged 8 – 17 in England, from 13th to 27th March 2020. The timing of the survey coincided with the closure of schools and the beginning of ‘lockdown’ in England due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From this initial survey, they began to see evidence of Covid-19 emerging as a new cause of stress amongst children, and we reported initial findings in a series of blogs. More broadly, the survey showed that 88% of children reported that they had ever felt stressed while 24% of children felt stressed most days or every day.

YoungMinds carried out a survey with young people with a history of mental health needs between Friday 20th March (the day that schools closed to most children) and Wednesday 25th March (when there had been a further tightening of restrictions) in order to establish the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and on their ability access to support. Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus and the public health measures designed to prevent its spread are having a profound effect on many young people with a history of mental health problems.

This briefing paper by Unicef UK lays out the complex issues facing children and their rights, and the multi-layered way in which the coronavirus presents a growing crisis for the worst affected families. Coronavirus also presents a huge challenge for authorities straining to serve existing needs whilst also facing unprecedented demand for support. In response to these challenges, Unicef UK draws on its global emergency experience to call for greater coordination at the top of the UK Government to ensure the voices of children are heard, that issues are identified and addressed efficiently

This technical note, which is informed by reports from the field, examines issues that children may face as countries implement lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of Covid-19. Protective prevention and response strategies are then outlined with the goal of strengthening the protection of children in all types of homes.

This briefing paper by Unicef UK lays out the complex issues facing children and their rights, and the multi-layered way in which the coronavirus presents a growing crisis for the worst affected families. Coronavirus also presents a huge challenge for authorities straining to serve existing needs whilst also facing unprecedented demand for support. In response to these challenges, Unicef UK draws on its global emergency experience to call for greater coordination at the top of the UK Government to ensure the voices of children are heard, that issues are identified and addressed efficiently

This review, by Our Time, presents statistics on prevalence of issues that relate to Our Time’s work that are specifically relevant to the Covid-19 situation.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brings new worries about the welfare of children, particularly those of families living in poverty and impacted other risk factors. These children will struggle more during the pandemic because of financial pressures and stress placed on parents, as well as their limited access to services and systems of support. In this commentary, we explain how current circumstances reinforce the need for systemic change within statutory child welfare systems and the benefits that would accrue by implementing a continuum of services that combine universal supports with early intervention strategies. We also focus on promising approaches consistent with goals for public health prevention and draw out ideas related workforce development and cross-sector collaboration.

This document by the Local Government Association outlines our ambitions for a child-centred recovery, drawing together every aspect of policy and service delivery to create the places people want to live in and plan for the future.

The experience of children and young people during COVID-19 has been very different to that of adults. Very young children have missed out on early education experiences that are important to development and helping to close the disadvantage gap. Older children have missed schooling and time with friends. There is not yet a clear picture of the experiences of children and young people throughout the lockdown phase of the crisis. To support councils alongside their own engagement work, the Local Government Association has commissioned this literature review to draw together the existing research, to help ensure that the voices, feeling and wishes of children and young people are considered in recovery planning and decision-making. 

This briefing from The Children's Society outlines their key concerns and recommendations around the impact of COVID19 on children in poverty, refugee and migrant children, young people at risk, and around children’s mental health and wellbeing

A summary of young people’s key concerns about coronavirus raised in Childline counselling sessions.

Information for...

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Education and childcare workers
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Other frontline workers