Financial fragility and fuel insecurity are among the issues frontline workers are seeing, according to early research into the impact of COVID-19 in high poverty settings across Scotland.
The Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE), alongside Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland, Policy Scotland and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health is undertaking research and intelligence gathering to understand how local responses are working in this currently rapidly changing context. The research will provide insights that can support the next phase of the COVID-19 action at the local and national levels.
‘It’s coming in waves’ – deepening crisis for vulnerable families
Frontline workers have explained that they are seeing increasing numbers of families struggling to cope with the lockdown.
This is particularly challenging when parents are dealing with existing issues such as poverty, mental health problems, addiction, or domestic violence.
These issues have been exacerbated by the ‘new normal’ of isolation, loss of social networks, fear and uncertainty of what the future holds, and a sense of feeling trapped, particularly for those in overcrowded homes.
Single parents in particular are experiencing loneliness and the impact of being unable to have any time away from their children (and vice versa).
Families are experiencing ‘financial fragility’, particularly if they were precariously employed, and coping with increased fuel and food bills.
Food insecurity has been responded to well by services, and provision of food parcels and regular hot meals to families has been greatly welcomed in terms of ‘easing the burden’ on parents.
Frontline workers are seeing more families falling into fuel poverty and are using voluntary funding to top up electricity keys and gas cards as well as providing data and minutes for pay-as-you-go mobile phones and SIM cards to help families stay in contact.
Download the briefing here – Early insights into the COVID-19 response 30 April 2020
Written content is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.
To cite this briefing: Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland, Early insights into the COVID-19 response – 30 April 2020, https://nsee.online/covid-19-early-insights-into-the-response-part-2/