COVID-19 has increased the number of vulnerable families in our communities and intensified the challenges facing those already within this group.
Even before the current pandemic, The Children’s Commissioner estimated that more than two million children in England were living in families with substantial complex needs.1 COVID-19 has exacerbated many of those needs, such as lack of food, cramped living conditions, job insecurity, substance abuse and mental health problems.
Chris Robson, independent chairman of the NSCP, said:
“We know that many families will be facing increased stress during the extraordinary conditions this lockdown has imposed upon us all. Those who were already struggling to cope with health issues, relationship problems and financial challenges before the Coronavirus outbreak will be finding it particularly tough.”
On top of this, families are facing further pressure as job insecurity increases. A new survey from the Central Statistics Office found the livelihoods of 50% of the population have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
A quarter of 35 to 44-year-olds have childcare issues with 22% reporting difficulties in working from home with family around. Home schooling and childcare is particularly difficult where the child has additional needs.
In the midst of these issues, churches are finding new ways to engage with families. As new connections are made and approaches adopted,the way church-based family work is conducted could change completely.
Dr Eli Gardner (Kids Matter co-founder and Director), along with Emma Tanner from The Princess Project, chatted with Cinnmon Network about how churches can support families, parents and children during lockdown. You can see the recorded film of the webinar HERE as well as notes from the conversation.
If you’d like to find out more about Kids Matter or would like to get involved, as a volunteer or by financially supporting our programme, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on our IMPACT, click here.