Sue Armstrong Brown, CEO of Adoption UK, wrote on their website this week about the potentially devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown for families. Reassuringly, she also writes about the growth of online support, including the provision of therapies, and peer to peer work. Getting help early is important at the best of times, but even more so now, while so many families find themselves facing additional day to day stresses.
The past six weeks have taught us more about adoption support than the previous year. It’s been a deeply uncomfortable experiment into what happens to adoptive families when social, medical and academic infrastructure is disrupted, family routines are upended, pressure on relationships goes up and respite goes down.
This is what we’ve learned.
Things escalate quickly
Families have been simultaneously exposed to additional pressures and cut off from their support. Access to therapists and school SEND resources is reduced, patchy or absent. No less important is the loss of informal support networks, such as contact with the wider family or access to regulating activities.
Family resilience is under strain. We are seeing a steep increase in reports of challenging behaviour, child-to-parent violence, anxiety, and self-harming.
You can read the rest of her blog here.
Adoption UK published their report, Home Learning During the Covid-19 Lockdown, on May 4th. The report catalogues notable increases in anxiety and in challenging and often violent behaviour, and concludes with a series of recommendations to schools about communicating with parents; about parents’ need for additional understanding / support at this time; and for understanding about issues around return to school when lockdown ends . The report can be accessed here.