We research how COVID has affected families with young children and what will help. We begin by listening to the stories and experiences of families who live in temporary accommodations (TA). We explore how the professionals that support them have changed the way they work to adapt to COVID. Together we co-develop recommendations to help children and families recover from the pandemic.
Experiencing homelessness as a child is difficult enough: it affects physical and emotional wellbeing and increases the risk of common childhood illnesses and health problems later in life. COVID-19 has impacted these children and their families harder than most, yet many vital children’s health, education and social support services have been suspended, further hampering their development. Living in temporary accommodation (TA) due to experiencing homelessness makes it difficult or impossible to follow national public health guidelines like social distancing, self-isolation and frequent handwashing, due to overcrowding and shared facilities. These guidelines also may not be culturally appropriate or accessible, especially for the disproportionately Black and Minority Ethnic homeless population.
The CHAMPIONS team, led by Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, is exploring how best to reach and help children in TA and their families. By working in partnership with them to co-develop strategies addressing the health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 in the short and long-term. The project’s digital knowledge exchange platform will host experiences of families in TA as well as tailored public health messages and briefings for policymakers and healthcare professionals.
The diverse interdisciplinary research team includes expertise in co-producing strategies across sectors including child public health, epidemiology, inclusion health, economics, built environments, mental health, digital innovation and public engagement.
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