Covid-19 Is Tearing Vulnerable Families Apart
Painting by Jacqueline Page
None of us want to live in a society where “social distancing” fractures loving families and keeps them apart — and yet measures taken to slow the spread of Covid-19 may cause lifelong negative consequences for some of the most vulnerable children and their parents.
Many family court proceedings are now held remotely via telephone or Skype. In Metro, an article by ATD Fourth World asks how fair and empathetic such hearings can be. Some judges are also raising this question, for example here, writing for the Transparency Project.
A separate article in the i newspaper quotes ATD Fourth World about the closure of child contact centres during the pandemic. These closures prevent contact between children in foster care and their birth families.
The lockdown is reported to be causing a sharp increase in family court care proceedings. Research shows that families in poverty are the most likely to have their children removed into care. Some local authorities take far more children into care than others.
We are part of the Parents, Families and Allies Network, which is dedicated to social justice for parents and families affected by the child protection system in the UK. To read more about this issue, please click here.