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Consolidating evidence of impacts of COVID-19 on Children and Young People

Mar 2022

This micro briefing introduces evidence concerning the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children and young people in Scotland. These relate to rising poverty and food insecurity, digital exclusion, and disruption to public services on the well-being of children and young people. A focus on impacts to physical health, mental health, welfare, and education is presented.

This micro briefing is the fourth in a series of COVID-19 micro briefings.

Key points:

  • The pandemic and related lockdowns have adversely impacted children and young people. The evidence reviewed makes clear that families within disadvantaged areas have been disproportionately impacted.
  • Rising poverty and food insecurity; exclusion from online learning; and support service disruption have been the key mechanisms through which disadvantaged children and young people have been disproportionately impacted. Adverse impacts include the physical and mental health of children and young people alongside child welfare, education, and social interactions.
  • A minimum basic income, increased living wage, and re-establishment of uplift to universal credit could help address the poverty impact of COVID-19 on families.
  • The third sector has played an essential role in supporting the most vulnerable families during the pandemic. This has underscored the societal benefits of well-functioning public and third sector and community partnership working.

About the authors: Developed in partnership with Policy Scotland, this micro briefing was co-written with Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland (CNS). CNS is focused on supporting efforts to reduce poverty and increase participation within communities, strengthening the voices and priorities of children and young people, and supporting partnerships and collaboration between organisations and services to enable change. Based at the University of Glasgow – and in partnership with the Glasgow Centre for Population Health – CNS is a place-based programme working to improve outcomes for all children and young people living in neighbourhoods with high levels of poverty.

The other briefings in the series are:

Evidence of impacts of COVID-19 on Children and Young People

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