THE STATE OF CHILD POVERTY 2020: Buttle UK has published a report giving readers an insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on some of UK’s most vulnerable families. The key findings suggest that there have been multiple pressures on children's education of which food poverty and a lack of digital access have been two of the main issues. This was also indicative of a widening education gap. Not surprisingly, the report also showed the negative impact on mental health for children, and the negative impact on the family’s financial wellbeing and their ability to meeting their children's basic needs.
Life On Hold: Children’s Well-being and COVID-19: This publication by the Children’s Society reports on children’s well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic through the annual household survey conducted in April-June 2020 with over 2,000 young people aged 10-17. While the report found a higher proportion of young people experiencing lower levels of well-being than normal, there is a sense of hope as the survey also found that through these difficult times children enjoyed having a time to reflect, learn new hobbies and have found gratitude for things in their life pre-lockdown.
Putting children first in future lockdowns: This briefing by the Children’s Commissioner outlines the key actions required to ensure that children’s interests are at the core of planning future lockdowns, particularly given the risks of a second wave of COVID-19 infections that may need further local lockdowns. It focuses on 10 key principles, which include the prioritisation of education.
Epidemiology of violence against children in migration: A systematic literature review: Children in migration face violence particularly during their migration journey, however the epidemiology on the prevalence of violence in this highly vulnerable group is lacking. Screening over 1000 articles, the systematic review found a striking discrepancy between the importance of the topic and the absence of data. To fill this gap would require both rigorous methodology and more research in general on the epidemiology of violence against children in migration. The findings suggest an urgent need for evidence that supports the development and adaptation of effective, tailored, and child-sensitive prevention and intervention programs for children in migration.
Association of Opioid Prescription Initiation During Adolescence and Young Adulthood With Subsequent Substance-Related Morbidity: This piece of original research uses a nationwide Swedish cohort to investigate the association between the initiation of prescription opioid analgesics during adolescence and young people with a greater risk of substance-related morbidity. The study showed that of the 12.6% opioid native adolescents that were dispensed opioid prescriptions, 1% to 2% had a greater absolute risk of substance-related morbidity within 5 years, suggesting only a small increased risk.
A pragmatic randomised controlled trial of the fostering changes programme: Often as a consequence of maltreatment or traumatising experiences in families, many young people in Wales are cared for by foster or kinship carers. This pragmatic unblinded individually randomised controlled parallel group trial evaluates the efficacy of a training program to improve foster carer self-efficacy, compared to usual care. While the training program was well received by participants, it was however only associated with small and mostly short-term benefits for trial secondary outcomes.