The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the country with an unprecedented and multi-layered set of challenges. Whilst strict lockdown and social distancing measures have helped to mitigate the spread of infection, many vulnerable children and young people find themselves isolated and exposed to other potentially harmful risks. With less than 5% of vulnerable pupils attending school in England and Wales during the lockdown, they have become 'invisible' to local authorities and are instead living with greater risks of domestic abuse, drug/alcohol misuse, parental mental health problems and poverty. Without the vital support systems provided by schools, children’s centres, youth clubs, health visitors and social workers these vulnerable young people are more susceptible to mental health issues, neglect, online grooming and sexual or criminal exploitation.
Recognising the unintended consequences of lockdown, the Government has pledged more than £34m in emergency support to help troubled families, safeguard vulnerable children, enhance support services, and mitigate the risks to children and young people during the Coronavirus pandemic.
With core measures of the lockdown remaining in place for the foreseeable future, this timely Policy Foresight online live seminar brings together key partners from education, child protection, police, health, third sector, local authorities and other statutory agencies to discuss the key issues facing vulnerable children and young people at this difficult time, and explore innovative solutions to safeguard and support them through this crisis and beyond.
Resource - 22nd March 2020: Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Latest News - 2nd May 2020: Emergency funding to support most vulnerable in society during pandemic
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