For our twelfth episode, the Voice of the Child looks at new research which suggests children in care are not getting appropriate contact with their birth families during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The survey, which is the first of its kind in the UK, was produced by researcher Laura Baxter*, and offers detailed information about how families have had to fight for video contact, after the government allowed councils to shut down its contact centres to try to stop the spread of the virus.
Despite guidance from the Department of Education which confirms that contact must be enabled and online solutions like Skype and Zoom offered to parents so that children can see their families, parents have described chaos in councils and a lack of support from social workers to ensure contact continues.
The research offers alarming details over children’s reactions to the change and sometimes complete cut-off of contact with their mothers and fathers.
Parents have also been left feeling anxious and uncertain, worried about their children’s wellbeing, and whether the break in face to face contact could lead to a cut in contact forever.
*Not her real name.