Lockdown experiences: How it’s affecting children and social workers

1st May 2020

We are talking with children and also those working with children about how the lockdown is affecting them.

We asked Rowan, aged 10 to tell us about life in lockdown. Here’s what he said.

After lockdown began, my life became a little more stressful. I was delivered my new bed though, so that’s a plus. On the first week of the Easter holidays, I painted a forest scene to place up in our living room, so we could make the most of our holiday and camp in our living room.

I’ve also been able to make contact with my friends through apps like Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp.

Some of the stressful things are because of my sister, she’s a two year old, so you probably understand.

I have lots of other distractions from my stress, for example, games on my kindle, board games, art and TV.

As well as this I have homework on Google Classroom to keep track of my school work. With all the extra time I have managed to catch up reading ‘White Fang’ by Jack London. It is very interesting and beautifully scripted. Another enjoyable thing I’ve been doing is continue writing my novels that I haven’t written in a long time.

Those are a few of the enjoyable things I’ve done during lockdown. Overall it’s not been too bad, but there have been quite a few stressful and anxious moments.

We also spoke to Rob, who is a social worker who grew up in care. He told us about how coronavirus is impacting on him and the children and families he works with.

Coronavirus has changed social work completely. I’ve been moved to 3 different teams since lockdown to cover gaps where people are isolating.

Contact for young people has changed. It’s not physical contact, it’s on facetime or video messages. It’s different but we’re letting mums and dads know that their kids are still there.

Most home visits are on Zoom, it’s the best you’re going to get but we will miss stuff. We need to see the house; we need to see the body language.

I’m worried services won’t be able to fulfil their duties, we still have a duty to safeguard children whether there’s a global pandemic or not.

I do little things, like be where I say I’m going to be or text back if I can’t answer phone right away, and it’s more important now than ever.

We’ve been collecting food parcels from big supermarkets and taking them to care leavers. Our food banks are at capacity. The stripping back of leaving care legislation has not helped.

Dropping off a food parcel, goes a long way, for some of our care leavers it’s the only contact they will get. My car is full of frozen chips right now.

Children still need to be seen, putting the children and families first is essential.

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