A child’s welfare is paramount, even during a pandemic

The Childcare team at Carvers Law are specialists in matters relating to children. Concerns can be raised about a child’s welfare for a variety of reasons but, when Children’s Services do become involved, the skill and experience offered by the Carvers team guides clients through what can be some very challenging times. Even during a pandemic, a child’s welfare is paramount.

Families can find themselves struggling for any number of reasons, even under less trying circumstances than we have all experienced over the last 12 to 18 months. For many, tensions between parents or underlying relationship issues, mental health concerns, substance or alcohol abuse, or managing a child’s behaviour have become even more significant in day-to-day life. Casting an already struggling family unit into a long-term period of enforced ‘closeness’ has served only to exacerbate matters, while adding a lack of personal space or ‘me time’ to a reduced support network of family and friends, sees those problems intensify even further.

But it’s not just emotional and psychological issues that many families are facing. By sharing his own very personal experience of a childhood where food was often in short supply, professional footballer Marcus Rashford has demonstrated that many families are living in poverty and relying on schools to provide one proper meal a day for their children.

During the pandemic many support services have had to change the way they work while we have all lived under quite restrictive guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. The result has been frustration for many when it has been difficult to access face-to-face medical appointments, support for mental health issues, substance or alcohol misuse, or domestic abuse. Social workers have continued to operate as front line key workers throughout the pandemic but, unfortunately, the additional oversight provided by school staff and other professionals has not always been available. Many families have slipped under the radar, or will, in terms of oversight and support.

For families whose children are in the care of a local authority, reduced contact between parents and children has been a very damaging effect of the pandemic. Contact centres across the Midlands have had to meet safety guidelines set by Public Health England and, as a result, local authorities have not been able to offer as many contact sessions; many families are missing out on vital time with loved ones.

Despite Covid-19, the Carvers Law Childcare team wants to offer this reassurance to any parent, child, grandparent or other family member who finds themselves involved with Children’s Services: we are still here to offer advice, support and guidance.

Throughout the pandemic we have had to make changes to the way we deliver our service to parents and families, but the high level of quality of that service has remained unaffected. We can attend meetings with you and represent you in court proceedings, and we are happy to discuss the availability of Legal Aid for your matter.

If the issues raised here have given you cause for concern about the welfare of a child in your family, contact Ruth Harrison-Bryne on 0121 784 8484 or at [email protected]

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