The COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 brought major changes to everyday life in Scotland. Families were expected to apply social distancing rules, and to restrict social contact to their household, and schools were closed. This placed many families under strain, and for those who might have already been facing challenges, this strain was often compounded. Children, young people and families will be significantly impacted by the negative psychosocial and wellbeing implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and social isolation practices. Challenges can include loss of contact with supportive networks, loss of protection of schools and other services, and
increased economic stress.
Urgent research is needed to enable a full understanding of the implications of the pandemic on the wellbeing of this population, to explore the response of services and to provide constructive feedback to providers, in order to enhance both current and future pandemic social care responses.
The FACE19 Study (Families Experiencing COVID-19) explores children, young people and parent / carer experiences of the COVID-19 outbreak. It explores challenges experienced by children, young people and their parent /carers, and the resources and adaptations they use to manage those challenges. The study considers how social care organisations, particularly in the voluntary sector, have adapted their services to meet the needs of children, young people and parents / carers through the pandemic. And it evaluates what has worked well in those social care responses.
The project takes an action research approach, with continuous feedback loops to partner organisations, to enable sharing of learning, reflection and action based on that learning.
Our partner organisations in the project include Aberlour Child Care Trust, Scottish Women’s Aid, Adoption and Fostering Alliance, and Parenting Across Scotland. Since the project began, several other organisations have also joined with us to explore social care responses to the pandemic.
The project is funded by the Chief Scientist Office, and is based in the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection at the University of Stirling.