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COVID-19 work at HSCWRU

Child protection during the pandemic

18 June 2020

We are delighted to have been awarded King’s Together funding to investigate how robust multiagency child protection and safeguarding arrangements around schools have been during the pandemic. It provides an opportunity to build on our ESRC funded work on the role of schools in a multi-agency approach to child protection and safeguarding as well as the study we are concluding on the response of children’s social care to COVID-19.

The primary research question focuses on whether the multi-agency arrangements of which schools are a part have been sufficiently robust not to place children at increased risk, including when transitioning back into ‘pre-COVID-19’ arrangements. A secondary research question will examine how multi-agency arrangements have operated in Australia, New Zealand and the USA (New York City and California), which have similar child protection systems to that in place in England.

Working with six local authorities we shall work with a sample of schools in each area, as well as with local authority staff based in multi-agency safeguarding hubs, children’s social care, early help, and school-based mental health support to understand how the COVID-19 arrangements impacted on the services they provide and on how they will operate in the future. Individuals in the countries named will comment on the findings and on how multi-agency arrangements have operated in their own countries during this time.

The research will be conducted between July and October 2020 to take account of the pressure on schools and other agencies as they adjust to yet another set of working arrangements after lockdown.

This study is being led by Dr Mary Baginsky, Senior Research Fellow at the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce.

More about COVID-19 work at the Unit

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