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25 May 2023

A local lens on children's social care

The London Borough of Lewisham’s responses to COVID-19 and its legacy

Computer keyboard, mask and mobile phone on table

A new report examines the findings of staff surveys conducted in the inner London Borough of Lewisham's children’s social care service during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2022). It is authored by Sara Taylor of the London Borough of Lewisham with Mary Baginsky and Jill Manthorpe of the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, King's College London for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London.

The report is based on analyses of two surveys that were completed by children’s social care staff, mainly social workers. The first survey was sent out during the period of the first UK national lockdown that started in March 2020 when significant changes had been made to working arrangements to enable the local authority to continue its social work services to children and families. The second took place 12 months later when such changes were more familiar but the pandemic was still affecting working lives.

The report offers reflections on the learning from the survey responses about working arrangements that were established before and during the pandemic, the adaptations that were made to social work practice, and the possible lasting impacts of these.

This publication

Taylor, S., Manthorpe, J., & Baginsky, M. (2023) A local lens on children’s social care: the London Borough of Lewisham’s responses to Covid-19 and its legacy. London: NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, The Policy Institute, King's College London.

In this story

Mary Baginsky

Reader in Social Care

Jill Manthorpe

Professor Emerita of Social Work