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Hearing the voice of the child through the storm of the pandemic: the impact of Covid-19 measures on the detection of and response to child protection concerns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Jenny Driscoll, Aisha Hutchinson, Ann Lorek, Katrina Kiss, Elise Kinnear

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCHIL-1198R1
Pages (from-to)400-425
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Children's Rights
Issue number2
Accepted/In press15 Apr 2021
Published15 Jun 2021

King's Authors


Covid-19 and the resulting “lockdown” and social distancing measures significantly disrupted the mechanisms by which child maltreatment may be identified or disclosed and children’s voices in relation to their protection are heard. This paper reports on the first stage of a multi-disciplinary study in which 67 interviews were undertaken with strategic and operational leads in all professions with child protection responsibilities from24LondonboroughsinJunetoearlySeptember2020.Findingshighlightdisruptions to communication pathways caused by redeployment and the closure of universal and early help services, and concerns about the effectiveness and safety of distanced interactions. Innovations in practice to overcome these challenges are reported, including risk reevaluation exercises, keeping in touch strategies and online innovations. Lundy’s model of participation rights is employed to identify lessons for addressing the invisibility of some groups of children, enhancing access to and quality of communication, and embedding responsibility for listening to children.

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