Covid-19 restrictions having “detrimental impact” on children in care

Covid-19 isolation measures are having a profound effect on the wellbeing of children in care, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by Ofsted, is the third report to highlight the impact of the pandemic on children and young people.

According to the paper, Ofsted inspectors carried out almost 2,000 visits to education and social care providers during the Autumn half term.

In children’s social care, they found that children arriving at care homes were often required to immediately isolate for 14 days, described by inspectors as a period of “solitary confinement”.

This, they reported, had a serious negative impact on children’s wellbeing and “undermined” the child’s safety and others in the home because of the child’s reaction to isolation. This often included self-harm or physical attacks on staff, the inspectors said.

The report also highlights staff shortages because of Covid-19, impacting children’s “feelings of safety”.

Commenting on the research, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, Amanda Spielman, said: “Faced with all of these pressures, the education and social care sectors are showing considerable resilience and creativity to provide children and learners with the best experience they can … And all of this is being done against the most challenging backdrop for staff in recent times.

“I would like to record my appreciation for everyone working in education and social care – from childminders and social workers to teachers and college tutors.”

Click here to access the report.

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