We reviewed research evidence to assess how likely it is that the conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic are heightening the risk of child abuse in the UK.
We looked at data from the NSPCC helpline and Childline, to see what people have been saying to us since the lockdown began. We also examined case studies collected from practitioners working in our service centres, about the impact of coronavirus on the children and families they were supporting.
By understanding the scale and the risks brought by lockdown we can begin to think about how to mitigate them and ensure children are kept safe while at home, online and as restrictions start to ease.
We researched the risks children might be facing and the reasons why these might intensify during the pandemic. Our findings fall into three broad categories.
We recommend a national and local response from governments and statutory agencies which includes practical steps such as:
Please cite as: Eleni Romanou and Emma Belton. (2020) Isolated and struggling: social isolation and the risk of child maltreatment, in lockdown and beyond. London: NSPCC.
A list of services and resources to support your work with children, young people and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.
Covers what to do if you have concerns that a child know through your work or volunteering has experienced abuse and neglect and how to respond if a child discloses abuse to you.