Figure 1: Main ways of staying in touch during lockdown
Phone calls and messaging
Face-to-face meetings and family time
Figure 2: Summary of pros and cons of video calls during lockdown
Barriers and challenges
Preferred by some children: feels more relevant or safer.
Difficulties for babies, under-fives and older children with disabilities.
For some parents and children, better than not being able to see each other at all.
Fears about impact on parenting assessments.
Can create opportunities for better integration between a child’s two worlds, though greater involvement of carers in contact.
Parents and children missing physical contact.
Can be used flexibly.
Raises new questions about risks.
Saves travel time.
Some additional stresses for carers.
Upsetting for some children.
Parents, carers and children may not have equal access to digital devices or the internet; some may not know how to use digital methods.
The methods allowed us to gain information about children across the whole age range, and including children with disabilities, who were living in a range of family based and group care settings. However:
no data were collected directly from children or young people
• the views of some other groups were not well represented—for example, professionals supporting kinship carers/special guardians, Cafcass workers, and birth fathers
• although the open format of our questions allowed respondents to raise any issues they felt relevant, it would have been helpful to ask respondents to comment on any issues that were specific to families of minority ethnic origin.
1 Department for Education. (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children’s social care services. Available from: www.gov.uk/government/publications/co ronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for- childrens-social-care- services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance- for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social- care [Accessed 11 May 2020].
2 Welsh Government. (2020). Children’s social services during the COVID-19 pandemic: guidance. Available from: https://gov.wales/childrens-social- services-during-covid-19-pandemic- guidance-html [Accessed 20 May 2020].