Ask the Expert: Supporting vulnerable children during the pandemic

This virtual Ask the Expert event, held in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) explored the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable children in the UK.

The event began with a speech from Tulip Siddiq, Shadow Minister for Children & Early Years. We then heard new research from Cardiff University’s Professor Stephanie van Goozen, Principle Investigator of research into the psychosocial effects of Covid-19 on the mental health and wellbeing of vulnerable children and families. Finally, we heard from Dr. Emma Gordon, Director of the Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) programme at the Economic & Social Research Council.

The Coronavirus crisis has affected the daily lives of children across the UK. For those who are considered vulnerable, disruptions such as “school closures, isolation from friends and family, increased financial and emotional strains and increased exposure to family tensions” are likely to have greater implications on their mental health and wellbeing. Ofsted has told the Government to consider vulnerable children during the pandemic as a matter of “national concern”, with an increase in reports of serious incident notifications and a decline in referrals to child services.

With a third national lockdown well under way, how can policymakers come together to mitigate the conditions which heighten the vulnerability of children in the short-term? And how should the Government seek to address the long-term impact of the pandemic on vulnerable children and families?


Tulip Siddiq MP, Shadow Minister for Children & Early Years

Professor Stephanie van Goozen, School of Psychology, Cardiff University

Dr Emma Gordon, Director, ADR UK

James KirkupJames Kirkup, Director, Social Market Foundation (Chair)

Our Ask the Expert series, in association with UK Research and Innovation, brings academic research on public policy into the heart of Westminster.

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