pam-menegakis-TVmj3A-vPng-unsplash.jpg alex-motoc-frJYGQRXwrg-unsplash.jpg dan-burton-7KV_RNLorTk-unsplash.jpg (1) dan-burton-vRS8NAVRkJ8-unsplash.jpg dan-burton-fbxd1Ci63VI-unsplash.jpg

On this page you'll find information about children's views and experiences relating to coronavirus, alongside information gathered from parents, carers and practitioners about the impact on children and their families.

The information has been gathered through research by our member organisations and allows us to consider the impact of coronavirus on children, including the impact on those belonging to a particular group(s).

This page is regularly updated. Is there something we should add? Please let us know by completing this form

We acknowledge that it is not always appropriate to seek children's views given safeguarding considerations and ask that you consider this when making submissions. We are particularly interested in hearing about the views and experiences of children belonging to the following groups:

  • Children experiencing poverty
  • Disabled children and children with additional support needs
  • Migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children
  • Black and minority ethnic (BAME) children
  • Children deprived of their liberty 
  • Children experiencing domestic violence
  • Young carers
  • Care experienced children 

Children's views and experiences (all groups)

Several projects have gathered children and young people's views and experiences relating to coronavirus. These cover a wide range of issues with participants from a broad range of backgrounds taking part. Several of these are ongoing projects which are tracking children and young people's views and experiences over time. 

  • Children's Parliament (December 2020)

    Children's Parliament provided its input to the COVID Education Recovery Group, which leads the national response to the pandemic in the context of the school system. Children's Parliament reflected upon the 'How are you doing?' survey findings to form its response.

    • Read more about this here. 
    • Discover the 'How are you doing?' survey report in full here.
  • Lockdown Lowdown (September to November 2020)

    Scottish Youth Parliament, Young Scot and YouthLink Scotland partnered to deliver Lockdown Lowdown. Two phases of the project have been delivered to date, with a third phase expected in spring 2021.

    Phase 1 (April 2020)

    A survey open to school, college, and university-aged participants from every community in Scotland asked them to share their concerns about COVID-19.

    The first phase of the survey ran from 3rd-17th April 2020 and more than 2400 young people took part. The results gave a clear picture of what young people are currently worried about – and the impact it’s having on their lives. 

    The organisations kept track of key issues via weekly follow up surveys on social media. Young Scot used the information gathered to help tailor its digital information for young people. The information was also used to inform youth workers' approaches, and by Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament to inform their advocacy activities.

    Phase 2 (September - November 2020) 

    The national survey was repeated, receiving over 6000 responses.

    A series of focus groups were held to amplify the voices of seldom heard young people. Five sessions were held which focused on the following groups: 

    • Young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
    • Disabled young people and those with additional support needs
    • Care experienced young people
    • Young people with experience of the justice system
    • Young carers

    In total, the sessions engaged around 40 young people.

     

  • Action for Children survey (14th July 2020)

    Commissioned by Action for Children, a YouGov survey of over 2000 parents has highlighted the impact of COVID-19 and life in lockdown.

    The results from the survey are as follows:

    • After months of lockdown over a third of parents (36%) said that their children were feeling isolated and lonely.
    • Four in ten parents (43%) said they were feeling anxious and more than one in three (33%) admitted to being out of their depth when it came to supporting their children during lockdown.
    • Many parents and children were experiencing sleep problems.
    • Even with restrictions easing, parents felt fearful about the weeks and months of uncertainty ahead. Over one in three (37%) said they were worried their children would struggle to socialise and wanted to remain at home.

    Action for Children is urging the UK Government to prioritise and fund children and young people’s mental health when recovering for COVID-19.

    • Read the survey results in full here
  • Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) research (July 2020)

    This report provides insight into the effects of lockdown and enforced social isolation upon young people from 12 to 24 years of age.

    The research design focused specifically on key areas: emotional wellbeing before and during lockdown, their experiences of online bullying, and experiences of online prejudice during lockdown.

    The research found a considerable difference within all key themes (emotional wellbeing, experiences of online bullying, and experiences of online prejudice) across demographics. With LGBT+ young people reporting a different experience from heterosexual young people, as do girls and young women when compared with boys and young men. In both comparisons, the former groups have experienced and/or witnessed higher rates of online bullying and prejudice during lockdown.

    • Read the report here
  • Connect Back to School survey (May - October 2020)

    Connect’s survey asked parents and carers how they felt about their child going back to school or nursery following lockdown, about part-time schooling and about how they were feeling in general.

    The survey was repeated three times over the course of summer and autumn 2020 to track views and experiences over time. 

  • Queen's University Belfast #CovidUnder19 survey (May - August 2020)

    The #CovidUnder19 survey was launched by the Centre for Children’s Rights at Queen’s University Belfast. It sought the views of children aged 8-17 about how their rights had been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included asking about children’s right to health care, education, play, to be safe and to have their views taken seriously.

    26,000 children participated worldwide from 137 countries.

    The survey was accompanied by a series of thematic briefings and a facilitator pack to support children to take part.

    The survey was part of the #CovidUnder19 initiative, which will use the insights gathered from the survey to inform a report to decision-makers and governments on their response to the pandemic and how the views of children can be at the heart of their decision making.

  • A Place in Childhood project findings and research report (May and July 2020)

    A Place in Childhood held three virtual workshops with children and young people across Scotland. The aim of this project was to give young Scots opportunity to discuss and agree the big changes and challenges they face due to Covid-19, and how they might be addressed.

    There were 25 participants across project teams from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Rural Stirlingshire, with a Rural Falkirk team joining the third workshop. The teams include between 4-6 boys and girls, aged 10-16 years.

    Workshop 1: focused on the big 5 changes for children and young people across Scotland from COVID-19. 

    Workshop 2: focused on the associated challenges of these changes. 

    Workshop 3: Focused on those challenges where they believed small improvements could make a big difference.

    The workshop offered key insights into:

    • the experience of loss of face to face social interaction;
    • drastic changes to schooling practices;
    • increasing stress on family resources;
    • an overload of screen-time; and
    • limited access to the outdoor play and recreation activities that usually underpin youth stress-coping strategies

    Read about the workshops here. 

    Read the research report here.

  • Girlguiding Survey (May 2020)

    Girlguiding's survey gathered the views of almost 7000 girls and young women across the UK (aged 4-18). It sought to find out how they were being affected by the coronavirus crisis and lockdown. 

    Views were collected on a range of issues including: 

    • Health and wellbeing 
    • Education 
    • Homelife and community involvement 
    • Information and the media

    Read the report here.

     

  • Rowlands Survey (May 2020)

    This survey gathered the views of 63 young people from Selkirk on lockdown and the future. 

    The survey was structured in to four themes:

    • School and home work
    • Physical and mental health
    • Access to support
    • The future

    Read the survey report in full here.

  • 'How are you doing?' Survey (April - October 2020)

    Children's Parliament ran a regular 'How are you doing survey?' for children aged 8-14.

    The surveys looked at a range of issues including having fun, boredom, mood, learning new things, worries, health and loneliness. Repeating the survey each month allowed children's experiences to be tracked over time.

  • The Corona Times Journal (April - September 2020)

    Members of Children's Parliament (MCPs) are helping adults understand the impact that coronavirus is having on children's lives through the Corona Times Journal. 

    MCP journalists have produced six editions so far: 

    • Edition 1 (30th April 2020): the first edition looks at learning at home and being online. The children also reflect on being bored, feeling good, and share some of their questions and worries.
    • Edition 2 (14th May 2020): themes in the second edition include health and wellbeing, in particular talking about sleep, food, being active and feelings and emotions. The children also write about things they are good at and about how lockdown affects relationships at home. Finally our journalists identify some worries and think about what adults can do to support children in these times
    • Edition 3 (25th May 2020): themes in the third edition include learning and school before lockdown, positive things about learning in lockdown, things children and young people don't like about learning in lockdown, what they have learned about themselves as a learner, what they have learned about during this experience and how this should influence what school learning is like after they return to school, feelings and practical suggestions about the return to school. The journalists who are also moving to secondary school also express how they are feeling about this transition.
    • Edition 4 (9th June 2020): Themes in this edition include how has lockdown changed the lives of the Corona Times Journalists over the three months, if the experience of COVID-19 and lockdown will change the lives of children, how the Corona Times Journalists want their community and Scotland to be different coming out of lockdown and finally who has been their lockdown heroes.
    • Edition 5 (29th June 2020): This edition finds out how children get news and information about the pandemic and checks in on learning and health.
    • Edition 6 (30th September 2020): this edition focuses on emerging from lockdown and returning to school.
  • Children's Parliament's stories gathered (2020)

    Children’s Parliament has captured the experiences of 15 parents, carers and children as lockdown restrictions have changed throughout the year.

    When engaging with children and parents/carers, eight key areas were stressed:  

    1. Keeping early learning centres and schools open- All families identified the reopening of early learning centres and schools as the most positive thing to happen since the start of the pandemic. However, families did express mixed experiences about engagement with centres and schools about re-opening and the start of the new term.
    2. An improved model for learning at home- Parents described challenges to practically deliver learning. A further model of blended learning is required, greater consideration of what can be expected, what support is on offer and recognition of what parents can do is needed.
    3. Value and facilitate play- Closure of parks and areas to play had a profound impact on children. Thus, children’s play must be acknowledged as both a right and a basis for the promotion of wellbeing. Local or national lockdown decisions ought to take account of this right and utilise outdoor learning more.
    4. Ensure families have a network of support- Whilst the response to the pandemic may have by necessity been rapid, the impact of these responses upon families were inadequately considered. Recovery and any ongoing measures akin to lockdown must prioritise support and resourcing of community-based services for families.
    5. Educational establishments and other services must acknowledge and address the financial consequences of the pandemic for families- Unemployment, loss of income and closure of schools were identified as financial challenges for families. 
    6. Families and services must work together to reflect on the impact of lockdown and social isolation on children’s behaviour and development- In the interest of learning, behaviour and child development, education providers and other professionals need to engage with parents and children to understand their perspectives on the impact of recent months without feeling judged.
    7. Support lone/single parents- Lone/single parents have experienced a significant degree of isolation. Social isolation of lone/single parents must be considered when decisions are made about responses to the pandemic and the provision of services.
    8. Support children and parents who live apart- In the initial months of lockdown,  families reported some confusion about what to do when children live in two homes, bringing about stresses to co-parenting. The circumstances of co-parenting households need to be considered in all lockdown measures.

    Read the 15 stories in full here.

Children experiencing poverty

Child Poverty Action Group has sought the views of children and young people via a survey.

  • Includem report (October 2020)

    Includem asked young people and families about their experiences of meeting day-to-day costs and what impact COVID-19 has had on them. Two thirds of respondents reliant on social security reported they were in a worse financial position now than before the pandemic and half said their debt was greater.

    Of the 126 young people and families surveyed, 65% reported social security was their primary source of income. The remaining 35% reported that employment was their primary source of income at the start of lockdown, however this is changing as unemployment increases.

    Key findings from the report include:

    • Food:49% of families reported struggling to put food on the table on a regular basis, rising to 60% for families on social security.
    • Transport:half of surveyed families reported regularly struggling to cover transport costs.
    • Heating costs:over half of all families and two-thirds of families receiving social security reported regular issues paying for heating.
    • Digital access:almost half of all families surveyed (47%) reported regular issues in affording the costs associated with accessing the internet.
    • Mental health:73% of surveyed families reported that their mental health was worse than it had been pre-pandemic and was as high as 82% for families reliant on social security.

    Read the report in full here.

  • The Food Foundation survey (October, 2020)

    Survey data has revealed the equivalent of 2.2 million children aged eight to 17 are registered for free school meals across the UK. It is estimated 42% of these children (900,000) are newly registered.  

    The data from the sample survey took place between 8th - 20th September 2020 and included 1,064 children from across the UK.

    Despite the spike in demand, schools are struggling to provide hot lunches, with only 32% of all children aged 8-17 saying they were eating hot meals from the canteen, and three percent of children (180,000) saying they skipped lunch entirely.

    • Find out more about the survey and read the recommendations here.
  • Child Poverty Action Group survey (June 2020)

    A total of 3,218 parents and carers and 1,074 children and young people looked at how household income has affected children’s participation of school life whilst at home. The findings show:

    • Parents and carers on low incomes were just as likely to be concerned with helping their children to continue learning through lockdown than their better off peers. Nonetheless, they reported facing significantly more stress around home learning and household finances than parents and carers in better off homes.
    • Low-income families who responded were twice as likely to say that they lacked all the resources they needed to support learning at home, with 40% saying they were missing at least one essential resource.
    • Low-income families were more likely to have had to buy educational resources compared to those in better off homes.
    • A third of people most worried about money have had to purchase a laptop, tablet or other device during lockdown.
    • Around a third of all families who were much less likely to report having money worries or lacking the resources they needed, said they were enjoying learning at home. By contrast, families who were worried about money were more likely to say they found it difficult to continue their children’s education at home.
    • Most families said they preferred to receive support in lieu of free school meals through direct payments to their bank accounts, as this method allowed flexibility, dignity, safety and convenience.
    • Children and young people valued being able to communicate with their teachers online and via phone calls. Parents and carers appreciated schools that took the time to understand their particular circumstances and offer personalised support.
    • Secondary school pupils were more likely to report that they had done a lot of schoolwork at home if they were regularly keeping in touch with their teachers. By contrast, pupils who said that they were having infrequent or no contact with their schools reported doing much less work.
    • Pupils who reported doing a lot of work at home were also more likely to report that their schools had provided them with the resources to help them work at home
    • Socioeconomic status did not hugely influence parental views about returning to school, as regardless of income, the most important factor for many parents and carers was the provision of emotional support to help pupils settle back in and come to terms with the events of 2020.

    Based on these findings, recommendations were made to UK Government, devolved governments, and local authorities. 

    Read more about the survey and recommendations here.

Several organisations have also gathered information from parents, carers and practitioners to highlight the experiences of children living in poverty. These stories highlight the severe financial stress that many families are under, with many losing sources of income and facing difficulties in accessing social security and food.

  • Action for Children report (9th October 2020)

    In March 2020, Action for Children launched its Coronavirus Emergency Fund in response to the increasing financial pressures felt by families, children and young people. The report uses evidence from Emergency Fund applications and a survey of frontline service staff to form recommendations to both the UK and devolved governments on what action is required to support families’ financial situation and to reduce child poverty rates.

    The financial pressures associated with having all the family at home full-time meant 37% reported the increase in household costs being an issue. For 29% of households, they reported that household finances were already an issue before the crisis, and they were already in receipt of welfare benefits. Thirty percent (30%) of households reported struggling to access enough welfare benefits to meet their daily living costs. Additionally, 40% were recorded as struggling to feed their children and 31% lacked access to the resources necessary to educate their children at home.

    The impact of these financial strains led to 37% of one or more adults experiencing a mental health concern and 23% having one or more children struggling with their mental health

    • Read the report and Action for Children’s recommendations here.
  • Child Poverty Action Group survey (June 2020)

    A total of 3,218 parents and carers and 1,074 children and young people looked at how household income has affected children’s participation of school life whilst at home. The findings show:

    • Parents and carers on low incomes were just as likely to be concerned with helping their children to continue learning through lockdown than their better off peers. Nonetheless, they reported facing significantly more stress around home learning and household finances than parents and carers in better off homes.
    • Low-income families who responded were twice as likely to say that they lacked all the resources they needed to support learning at home, with 40% saying they were missing at least one essential resource.
    • Low-income families were more likely to have had to buy educational resources compared to those in better off homes.
    • A third of people most worried about money have had to purchase a laptop, tablet or other device during lockdown.
    • Around a third of all families who were much less likely to report having money worries or lacking the resources they needed, said they were enjoying learning at home. By contrast, families who were worried about money were more likely to say they found it difficult to continue their children’s education at home.
    • Most families said they preferred to receive support in lieu of free school meals through direct payments to their bank accounts, as this method allowed flexibility, dignity, safety and convenience.
    • Children and young people valued being able to communicate with their teachers online and via phone calls. Parents and carers appreciated schools that took the time to understand their particular circumstances and offer personalised support.
    • Secondary school pupils were more likely to report that they had done a lot of schoolwork at home if they were regularly keeping in touch with their teachers. By contrast, pupils who said that they were having infrequent or no contact with their schools reported doing much less work.
    • Pupils who reported doing a lot of work at home were also more likely to report that their schools had provided them with the resources to help them work at home
    • Socioeconomic status did not hugely influence parental views about returning to school, as regardless of income, the most important factor for many parents and carers was the provision of emotional support to help pupils settle back in and come to terms with the events of 2020.

    Based on these findings, recommendations were made to UK Government, devolved governments, and local authorities. 

    Read more about the survey and recommendations here.

  • Who Cares? Scotland report (19th May 2020)

    Who Cares? Scotland published a second report in May 2020, building on its April report.

    The report highlights the impact on the care experienced community. It contains case studies drawn from the organisation's advocacy work and calls to its helpline. Many case studies relate to poverty and material deprivation, including one about a young care leaver who is struggling financially with lockdown expenditure, existing debt and utility bills. 

  • Aberlour report (April 2020)

    Aberlour's report on supporting children, young people and their families through the outbreak includes a short case study about Sarah, a mother of a newborn baby.

    The case study tells how Sarah and her baby had very little income and no support from family following a period in hospital. She did not have enough money left to buy warm clothing after paying household bills and buying baby essentials. She turned to Aberlour's Urgent Assistance Fund for help. 

    Aberlour's report notes that applications to this fund have increased by more than 1400% since March 2020, directly in response to the crisis.

  • Food Foundation survey (April 2020)

    The Food Foundation ran a UK-wide survey for over-18s to find their experience of access to food during the pandemic. Over 4300 responses were received, respondents were asked to indicate how many children lived in the household. 

    Findings showed that families with children were particularly vulnerable to experiencing food insecurity as a result of shop shortages. Those with children eligible for free school meals were at heightened risk of food insecurity arising from a lack of money. Many families reported delays in receiving their substitute for free school meals. In the first round of the survey, over 50% of parents/carers reported that they had not received their school meal substitute, decreasing to 40% in the second round. 

  • Who Cares? Scotland report (9th April 2020)

    The report highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the care experienced community, illustrating this through real-life case studies. 

    Several case studies highlight the financial difficulties experienced by care experienced parents and the impact this is having on their children. 

Children with disabilities and additional support needs

Several organisations have gathered information from parents and carers to highlight the experiences of disabled children. Key issues include a reduction in support services, issues with remote learning (e.g. access to specialist equipment and support) and increased feelings of stress and anxiety both of the part of children and their parents/carers. 

  • National Deaf Children's Society survey (2nd September 2020)

     A survey of 800 parents of deaf children has revealed only 36% would be likely to send their child to school if teachers were compelled to wear face masks. A further one in five (19%) said they were uncertain about what they would do.

  • Sibs report (5th June 2020)

    Sib's report: “Coming second all the time” Life in lockdown for siblings of disabled children includes the result of a survey undertaken with parents in May 2020 to find out more about the experiences of siblings of disabled children, under the age of 18, during lockdown. 876 parents responded. Key statistics are:

    75% of parents said their sibling child’s mental health had worsened 50% of siblings are providing more care in lockdown 1 in 3 siblings are feeling isolated and missing support from family and friends. 

    Read the report here

  • Family Fund survey results (March-May 2020)

    Family Fund conducted two waves of online surveys, as well as in-depth interviews with a sample of families. The first survey was undertaken between 27 March and 3 April 2020, consisting of 1,986 families raising 2,700 disabled or seriously ill children. The second survey was conducted between 30 April and 4 May 2020, consisting of 2,531 families raising 3,279 disabled or seriously ill children.

    Here is a summary of their findings:

    • Half of families have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and more than three quarters are experiencing increased household costs.
    • More families are seeing any saving they had rapidly diminishing, with nearly three quarters of families now having no savings to fall back on.
    • The situation around accessing essentials such as food and toiletries is improving, but many families are still going without.
    • The availability of both informal and formal support for disabled or seriously ill children has hugely reduced, with limited signs of improvements since the lockdown began.
    • The mental health and wellbeing of the majority of disabled or seriously ill children, as well as parent carers, is being negatively impacted, and showing signs of deteriorating as the lockdown continues.
    • The biggest concerns for families are around educating and entertaining their disabled or seriously ill children at home and their children’s health and wellbeing.
    • In turn, the priority items they require are things that can assist in educating and entertaining their children, as well as help meeting the cost of household essentials over the coming months.

    Read the survey findings in full here.

  • Disabled Children Partnership survey (May 2020)

    The Disabled Children Partnership ran a survey to understand more about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on disabled children and young people (up to 25), their siblings and parents.

    The survey was aimed at parents/carers and had received over 4000 responses from across the UK when it closed on 18th May 2020.

    The results of the survey will be published soon.

  • National Deaf Children's Society parent's blog (15th April 2020)

    The blog is written by the mother of Daniel, a 14-year-old boy who is deaf. She writes about their experiences during lockdown. An issue that affected Daniel and his mum was that their local authority had little time to plan how to deliver specialist services remotely. This is extremely important for BSL users who need video contact to communicate with support staff. 

    She encourages other parents to share their views through the National Deaf Children's Society survey, including on:

    • Accessibility of online learning - schoolwork might not be adapted by a Teacher of the Deaf, videos might not include captions or BSL translation.
    • Lack of school equipment at home - e.g. radio aids, laptop.
    • Isolation from friends - many deaf children are the only deaf child in their mainstream school and may not be able to chat to friends using the phone.
    • Difficulties communicating with parents at home who cannot sign fluently
    • Problems getting batteries and repairs for hearing aids and cochlear implants, new ear-moulds etc. 
  • Inclusion Scotland survey (April 2020)

    Inclusion Scotland ran a survey to gather evidence of what disabled people are experiencing during COVID-19. The survey was open to disabled people of all ages and their carers.

    Some of the 822 responses were from parents/carers of disabled children. Many reported an increase in caring responsibilities since the lockdown:

    "“I just have to suck it up. Certainly can’t work from home with a doubly incontinent child with profound learning disabilities.”

    “We are all at home now. 2 adults with depressive illnesses, 1 adult with ASD, 1 adult with ASD, ADHD and anxiety and a teenager and a 2 year old with suspected ASD. We have no respite at all.”

    Many parents spoke of their children losing vital services that are normally provided through school and the additional strain of having to educate children at home:

    “Autistic son is very active outdoors, needs sensory stimulation and being in the house is strained. He has specialist teaching in ASN school that we cannot provide, his routine is disrupted.”

    Parents of both young and adult children with additional support needs reported stressful experiences of being in lockdown at home, particularly lone parents of one or more disabled children:

    “My son had to move back with us as his residential care centre closed. All the progress he has made over the years with independent living seems to have evaporated overnight. He’s anxious, lonely, selfharming, watching tv all day and very depressed. We all are.

    While the survey is now closed, Inclusion Scotland is encouraging disabled people and carers to continue sharing their experiences on social media using the hashtag #OurVoicesCovid19.

  • Carers UK survey (April 2020)

    The Carers UK survey ran from 3rd-14th April 2020. It gathered the views and experiences of around 5,000 current and former carers across the UK. Some spoke about the impact on the disabled children they care for, including access to certain foods due to shop shortages:

    "I’ve got a child who only eats specific items (and that is part of their disability) he can’t swallow tablets and gets them disguised in the only yoghurt he will eat…yet I can only get three of any one item."

    Read the full report here.

Migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children

Children's views

  • Clan Childlaw survey (Ongoing)

    Survey is seeking to gather views of children and young people, family members or carers, professionals supporting children and young people to discover how COVID-19 is and lockdown is affecting them and what they think the long-term impact of the pandemic will be.

    Questions covered:

    • How are any changes - for example to children’s hearings, care arrangements, living arrangements or contact with family members - affecting you or affecting your future plans?
    • Are there issues you have questions about or are worried about? For example, you or the person you’re supporting may be unclear about how their children’s hearing will be affected, or you might be a young person seeking asylum, or you might have concerns around your housing.
    • What would it be useful for Clan Childlaw solicitors to give you more information on? How would you like to get that information
    • Is there training that you think would be helpful for Clan Childlaw to provide for people who are caring for or supporting children and young people?
    • Are there other ways Clan Childlaw can help?

    Participate in the survey here. 

Children's experiences, as articulated by parents and carers

  • Clan Childlaw survey (Ongoing)

    Survey is seeking to gather views of children and young people, family members or carers, professionals supporting children and young people to discover how COVID-19 is and lockdown is affecting them and what they think the long-term impact of the pandemic will be.

    Questions covered:

    • How are any changes - for example to children’s hearings, care arrangements, living arrangements or contact with family members - affecting you or affecting your future plans?
    • Are there issues you have questions about or are worried about? For example, you or the person you’re supporting may be unclear about how their children’s hearing will be affected, or you might be a young person seeking asylum, or you might have concerns around your housing.
    • What would it be useful for Clan Childlaw solicitors to give you more information on? How would you like to get that information
    • Is there training that you think would be helpful for Clan Childlaw to provide for people who are caring for or supporting children and young people?

    Participate in the survey here. 

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children 

Intercultural Youth Scotland is currently facilitating a youth-led project seeking views from BAME children and young people.

Children with care experience

Who Cares? Scotland is working to ensure the voices of care experienced young people are heard during the crisis. It is tracking the impact on care experienced young people through case studies and composite stories which draw from calls to its helpline and advocacy work.

  • Who Cares? Scotland report (19th May 2020)

    Who Cares? Scotland published a second report in May 2020, building on its April report.

    The second report also uses real-life case studies and composite stories to highlight the issues care experienced young people are facing. These have been gathered through Who Cares? Scotland's advocacy work and calls to its helpline. 

    The case studies highlight issues such as:

    • Poverty: destitution and material deprivation, access to social security, new and increased debts
    • Health and wellbeing: social isolation, bereavement, relationship impact
    • Information and participation: education and equipment, the impact of digital participation
    • Provision of care: placement changes, contact with friends and family, rise in anxiety
    • Support: the changing nature of professional support, educational support.

    Read the report here.

  • Who Cares? Scotland report (9th April 2020)

    The report highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the care experienced community, illustrating this through real-life case studies. 

  • MCR Pathways report (no date)

    Over 1,300 responses were received from children and young people (aged 13-18) from city, town, rural and island settings across Scotland. Respondents were either care-experienced or on the edge of care, experiencing various forms of disadvantage.

    More than half found learning materials too difficult to understand and just under half said they were too stressed or anxious to engage with school work. Over a quarter of young people also reported caring duties had impacted on their capacity for home learning. Additionally, some young people did not have IT and internet access (15%) or space at home to work (20%).

    When asked about their feelings on returning to school, young people reported that they wanted to return to school but they were worried about getting back into a school routine and being behind with school work. Over half reported worries about COVID-19 infection and re-establishing relationships with friends and teachers.

    Read the report here.

  • Who Cares? Scotland report (February 2021)

    Who Cares? Scotland has published a COVID-19 recovery planning report. In this report people with Care Experience share how they accessed information about the pandemic, how they felt living under lockdown rules and how the support they received changed throughout the pandemic. It also further details the different impacts the pandemic has had on Care Experienced people’s lives and what can be done to better support people in 2021.

    Click here to read the report.

     

Children's experiences, as articulated by parents and carers

  • Adoption UK survey (April 2020)

    Adoption UK ran a week-long survey in April for parents and carers of care-experienced children who would normally be in school. There were 674 responses to the survey and the survey report highlights the challenges faced by parents and carers when supporting care experienced children's learning during lockdown. 

    The key findings were:

    • 85% of care experienced children are not getting any additional support from
      school.
    •  50% of parents and carers say their child is experiencing emotional distress and
      anxiety.
    • 31% of families are experiencing an increase in violent and aggressive behaviour from their children.
    • 54% of parents and carers say that the time spent together is improving their relationship.
    • 63% of parents and carers think their child will need extra support during the transition back to school.
    • More than half of all secondary aged pupils seem calmer without school. 

    Read the report in full here.

Practitioners supporting women and girls experiencing or perpetrating domestic abuse or other forms of violence

Practitioners' views

  • Scottish Government report (March-May 2020)

    Scottish Government gathered qualitative evidence on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on women and girls people experiencing domestic abuse and other forms of violence from 30th March 2020 to 22nd May 2020.

    The report covers referrals, support for victims, risk and safety planning, criminal justice, perpetrator tactics, children, child contact, prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation, experience of support services/organisations. 

    Read the research in full here. 

Young Carers

Children's views

  • Carers Trust Scotland (July 2020)

    Survey findings gathered from young carers (aged up to 17) and young adult carers (aged 18 to 25) highlight that many young carers have experienced increased pressures due to COVID-19. This has had a negative impact on young carers’ mental health and wellbeing.

    Key findings include:

    • 45% of young carers said their mental health was worse as a result of COVID-19.
    • 71% of young carers said they were more worried about the future since COVID-19.
    • 58% of young carers said their education was suffering.
    • 74% of young carers said they feel less connected to others now than they did before the pandemic.

    Read the 2020 Vision, Hear Me, See Me, Support Me and Don’t Forget Me briefing paper for the survey results here.

  • Lockdown Lowdown survey (April 2020)

    Scottish Youth Parliament, Young Scot and YouthLink Scotland partnered to deliver the Lockdown Lowdown survey which was open to school, college, and university- aged participants from every community in Scotland. The survey asked participants to share their concerns about COVID-19. More than 2,400 young people across Scotland participated. When asked about their ability to look out for or care for others, almost a third (30%) rated themselves as Moderately or Somewhat concerned.

    30 young people from Carers Trust Scotland took part in this consultation: 43.3% are aged between 12 and 17, 36.7% are aged 18-20, and 20.0% are aged 21-25. Young people in Carers Trust Scotland are most worried about the impact coronavirus (COVID-19) will have on other peoples’ physical health and wellbeing.

     

Mental health needs

The impact on children and young people's mental health has been highlighted by the following surveys. 

  • Prince’s Trust Tesco Youth Index survey (19th January 2021)

    A survey of 2,180 young people aged 16 to 25 has revealed a quarter feel "unable to cope with life" since the start of the pandemic, increasing to 40% among those not in work, education or training.

    The results show more young people are feeling anxious than ever in the 12-year history of the Index.

    Additional findings include:

    • Half of participants reported worsening mental health.
    • Almost a quarter (23%) do not feel confident about their future work
    • More than half (54%) say it is harder to ask for employment help as "everyone needs it at the moment".
    • For young people who are not in work, education or training, nearly half (48%) say they "can’t see an end" to their unemployment and 65% agree that the longer they are jobless, the worse they feel about themselves.

    Read the findings in full here.

  • RCPCH book club (22nd September 2020)

    Six young people aged 16-25 and RCPCH staff formed the COVID-19 Book Club. As of 22nd September, the group had read studies representing more than 61,000 views. The insights from these studies can be used to inform thinking about the physical and mental health needs of children and young people, as COVID-19 restrictions change.

    The Book Club identified three recovery priorities for urgent action by NHS Trusts and health boards:

    1. Have relevant, child and youth-friendly information about accessing health services and staying safe through the pandemic.
    2. Increase access to mental health services to support children and young people impacted by the pandemic.
    3. Create the best virtual health experience possible thinking about access, confidentiality, rapport and holistic care.

    Find out more about the Book Club here.

  • Lockdown Lowdown Survey (April 2020)

    Scottish Youth Parliament, Young Scot and YouthLink Scotland partnered to deliver Lockdown Lowdown - a survey open to school, college, and university-aged participants from every community in Scotland, asking them to share their concerns about COVID-19.

    The first phase of the survey ran from 3rd-17th April 2020 and more than 2400 young people from a range of backgrounds took part. Findings on mental health included: 

    • 40% of participants were moderately to extremely concerned about their own mental well-being
    • When asked about the mental well-being of others, 46% stated that they felt moderately or extremely concerned
    • Respondents were asked if they knew how to access information about certain topics during the coronavirus outbreak.The topics that respondents were least confident in accessing information about included support for mental health and well-being (40% selected No)
  • Young Minds survey (30th March 2020)

    Young Minds ran a survey of children and young people with a history of mental health needs. Over 2000 children and young people (aged 13-25) from across the UK took part between 20-25th March. This followed the closure of schools and introduction of stricter lockdown measures.

    Findings included:

    • 83% of respondents agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse. 
    • Of those respondents who were accessing mental health support in the lead-up to the crisis (e.g. NHS, counsellors, private providers, charity support), 26% said they were not currently able to access support (74% said that they were still getting some level of support).  Among those who were no longer able to access support, some had experienced cancellations due to schools closing, not being able to attend peer support groups or because services that had been delivered face-to-face could not be provided online or by phone. Others had been offered remote support but reported concerns around privacy, access to technology or anxiety over talking on the phone or via video calls.
    • Things that helped respondents mental health during this time included face-to-face calls with friends (72%), watching TV/films (72%), exercise (60%) and learning new skills (59%).
    • 66% of respondents agreed that watching or reading the news was unhelpful for their mental health.

    Access the full report here.

Children in contact with or have had experience in the youth justice system

Children's views

  • Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice report (June 2020)

    CYCJ gathered the views of children and young people who are currently in contact with youth justice services or with previous experience of the youth justice system on COVID-19, and of practitioners working within the youth justice system.

    Here is a summary of children and young people's experiences they shared:

    • Children and young people cited isolation and lack of contact with others - family, friends and services - as the biggest issue affecting those in contact with the justice system. Other impacts of COVID-19 restrictions included boredom, not being able to attend school, managing financially
      and lack of information and the uncertainty of the current situation.
    • Changes to the operation of the youth justice system were highlighted as a concern. This included delays owing to restrictions to court and Children’s Hearings; progression of plans; maintaining contact with services and supports including social work and legal professionals and attending court; and for those in custody.
    • Lockdown was most commonly described as a negative experience, particularly in terms of isolation, the challenge of staying in all the time, getting used to the change and impacts on individual circumstances. Staying occupied and contact from others helped.
    • Views on physical distancing were more mixed and overall more positive than on lockdown. For those who had been in contact with the police, mixed experiences were reported, varying between responses being deemed fair and appropriate and more adversarial and negative. A small group of children described negative experiences based on feeling targeted by the police.
    • Almost all participants had been able to stay in touch with family and friends and many with services and supports, with various means being utilised to do so.
      The impact on children and young people’s mental health was a key theme.
    • Others could help by supporting contact with family and friends; keeping in touch; having activities and things to stay busy; easing restrictions; and supporting particular young people such as those in custody.

    Read CYCJ's findings in full here

Practitioners working in the youth justice system

Practitioners' views

  • Centre of Youth and Criminal Justice report (June 2020)

    CYCJ gathered the views of children and young people who are currently in contact with youth justice services or with previous experience of the youth justice system on COVID-19, and of practitioners working within the youth justice system.

    Here is a summary of practioners' experiences they shared:

    • The biggest issues affecting children and young people in contact with the justice system and services were social isolation, affecting their health and wellbeing, and boredom and lack of activity, affecting routine and substance use. The challenges of keeping in contact and increased difficulties in relationships and conflict within the family home were also
      highlighted.
    • Changes in offence types have been noted in some areas, with particular challenges identified with the operation of the justice system across all areas of the Whole System Approach. Some existing challenges such as delays to processes and release from custody have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
    • Overall children and young people have complied well with the restrictions associated with COVID-19 and the approach from Police Scotland is reported to have been appropriate. Some issues and wider criminalisation concerns have been noted.
    • The impact on offence types and compliance with restrictions has changed in some areas and for some children as time has progressed.
    • A range of factors have worked in supporting children and young people: keeping in touch through creative methods; ensuring access to things to keep them occupied, practical resources and technology; working with partners; and the dedication of staff.

    Read CYCJ's findings in full here