Increased Emotional Support for Children and Young People

As an Early Years Practitioner, I am deeply concerned about the psychological impact enforcing social distancing with young children will have. I'm already hearing stories of children becoming scared to go outside, or becoming afraid and upset when people walk by them in public. What might the effect/s be of a year of enforcing social distancing with our youngest citizens? There MUST be detailed research carried out and specific emotional support put in place. Increased funding of, provision of, and access to, services such as; Educational Psychology, CAMHS, Place2Be, accessible ASN support, and extra PSAs for classrooms, must be implemented as a matter of urgency and utmost importance.

Why the contribution is important

How can our youngest citizens become Successful Learners amidst a pandemic, social disruption the likes of which most of us have never seen before, financial changes within the family, social distancing, sporadic distance (home) learning, an already disrupted school year, and a projected 50% attendance in the school year ahead? Some children will have witnessed or been the target of abusive behaviours; some will be emotionally damaged by having no contact with family or friends for so many months; some will have developed anxiety as a result of all these changes to their lives; children in transition years will be in turmoil, and some children will just find it generally very difficult to reintegrate with their normal school setting (particularly in light of the proposed staggered attendance timetables). As ever, we must ensure we remain focused on Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC), and that we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as much as we possibly can, now and moving forward. From the UNCRC; Article 3: The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children. Article 4: Governments must do all they can to make sure every child can enjoy their rights by creating systems and passing that promote and protect children’s rights. Article 12: Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life. We simply MUST ensure our youngest citizens are fully supported during this pandemic (in all settings), and that their Health and Wellbeing is the priority above all else.

by ElBee on May 06, 2020 at 09:42AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.2
Based on: 12 votes


  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 09:49

    Let the children play
  • Posted by Singlemum May 06, 2020 at 10:04

    I find it refreshing as before lockdown, funding support for my teenage daughter with autism non existent. School staff didn’t have time, the council do not believe children need these services.
  • Posted by SylviaL May 06, 2020 at 10:15

    As someone working with young people with autism, they too will need extra support to cope with the effects of lock-down, social distancing especially as lock-down restrictions are eased. Many have really taken on board the message underlying the need for restrictions (for example those who take things literally), and are already very anxious about resuming outside contacts -this will be heightened for those who usually struggle with social contacts anyway. Yet some parents are currently struggling with the stopping of their usual respite services, and will be desperate for some form of respite. Those organisations/services who usually provide respite for them will need to re-think how they provide those services in the future and may have to provide more 1:1, 2:2 or very small group respite: however providing respite in this way can be more costly in terms of staffing, time and other resources. The Scottish Government's support to Scottish Autism and the National Autistic Society is welcomed, but when we progress to the next stage thought needs to be given to how to support smaller, grass roots organisations to provide the essential respite that is needed.
  • Posted by ElBee May 06, 2020 at 11:14

    Thank you for your supportive comments, I fully agree with the points all of you have made. Protecting and nurturing ALL our Young People is going to be more important than ever as we move through this pandemic, and that will include easing up on attainment expectations while simultaneously pouring funding into support services and providers.
  • Posted by roobie May 07, 2020 at 08:06

    This applies equally to adults, as psychology for adults with pre existing mental health conditions has been paused since the start of the pandemic and many are struggling. Many have no support network or family and there has been a surge in suicides. It's key that these services are reinstated immediately and mental and physical illness must be given full financial parity so services for all from small children to adults and the elderly can be increased as a matter of urgency. The fact that mental illness has not been provided for during this crisis is nothing short of a disgrace.
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