The webinar will share emerging findings about how COVID-19, lockdowns and the ebbing and flowing of restrictions has not only disrupted child protection work but  led children’s social care practitioners to improvise in creative ways, integrating a variety of modes of in-person and digital communication and ways of relating that our data show have been helpful to children and families.

The research is funded for 15 months by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the UK Research and Innovation call for studies that can contribute to understanding and alleviating the social impact of the pandemic.

Join us as we consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protection. By reflecting on the lessons of the recent past, we hope to help ensure the best possible response to an uncertain future.

About the speakers

Harry Ferguson, Professor of Social Work and Laura Kelly, Research FellowDepartment of Social Work and Social Care, University of Birmingham will draw on research that has been studying how social work and social care practices have been managing the effects of Covid-19 and social distancing and other challenges at a time of increased stresses on and risks of harm within families. The research began in April 2020, early on in the period of national lockdown and has been following the experiences of a sample of social workers, family support workers and managers in four (anonymous) local authorities in England ever since.  Family members involved with the same practitioners in the study have also been interviewed. This has produced unique longitudinal data on the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable families, services, practitioners and managers.