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The impact of coronavirus (COVID-19): statistics briefing

Publication date February 2022

What impact has COVID-19 had on children, young people and their families?

There is no universal experience of coronavirus (COVID-19) - children and their families have been impacted in different ways.

Using many sources of information - including data from services which work with children and families, and research into children's and adults' self-reported experiences – we were able to build up a picture of children and young people’s lives during the pandemic.

This briefing focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on children’s safety and wellbeing, including: mental health and wellbeing, levels of abuse, pressure on parents and carers and the availability of support services.

Statistics briefing: the impact of coronavirus
Download the briefing (PDF)

Key findings from the data

  • Despite there being many negative impacts of the pandemic, some children and families have found some positives too.
  • COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many children and young people.
  • There are indications that some forms of child abuse have increased during the pandemic.
  • Data shows that the pandemic has impacted on many people’s relationships, financial situations, and their physical and mental health. This has placed many families under heightened pressure.
  • Professionals, who would normally be providing children and their families with support and advice as well as identifying and referring child protection concerns, have not been seeing children and families as regularly as usual.
  • Levels of child protection referrals dropped across the UK.

Statistics briefings series

Statistics can help people and the organisations they work for make evidence-based decisions about how best to meet the needs of children. Our series of briefings looks at what available data can tell us about child abuse and neglect.

Find out more