Lessons for Resilience
Consider how to support children who have reached the age of leaving care during and after the pandemic
Data from the EU shows that 18 year olds who are in care are more likely to be not in employment, education or training, and experience higher levels of social exclusion or homelessness. COVID-19 has exacerbated their financial insecurity, poor mental health, and limited support networks as they transition to independent living. In addition to assessing the capacity of social work provision (TMB Issue 6), consider:
- Formally designate people who are leaving care as belonging to a vulnerable group
- Extend social protection programmes to make support services, such as financial support for food and accommodation, immediately available to those who leave care
- Ensure social services maintain regular personalised contact with those who leave care to advise them of what support is available during COVID-19
- Increase the capacity and flexibility of online communication with those who leave care, including availability of support forums
- Increase the capacity of mental health services, including outreach services and crisis support teams, by drawing on trained volunteers and enhance training in psychological first aid and safeguarding
- Partner with private care agencies, non-governmental organisations, corporate partners and care professionals to establish support and training/employment programmes
- Establish a mentor programme to strengthen the support network of care leavers during their transition from care to independent living (e.g. ProgramaMentor, Galicia, Spain)
- Provide employment advice to those who leave care, such as guidance on CV writing via an online workshop
- Host virtual career or industry insights days to support those who leave care in making decisions on their next steps regarding education and employment
- Establish targeted education and employment support for those who leave care, such as practical skills training on computing, email writing, giving presentations, and interviews; plus volunteering opportunities, work experience and apprenticeships for when lockdowns and restrictions end
Consider expanding digital and e-commerce services especially in developing economies
In Vietnam, the World Bank has stated that the economy has remained resilient.
Government measures to support economic recovery:
- A US$10.8 billion credit support package
- Lowered interest rates
- Delayed payment of taxes and land use fees for several business lines
- Banks cut online transaction fees to encourage cashless payment
Industry measures to support economic recovery:
- Retailers encouraged orders by phone and apps which allowed retailers to hire more delivery personnel to meet demand
- E-learning facilitated demand for hardware such as laptops and tablets and software services such as Zoom
Consider how stigma can develop after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine or treatment
It is critical that governments and civil society proactively combat stigma and discrimination through regular and transparent communication on the transmission of the virus and other aspects of the pandemic, cautioning against laying blame or accusations against any group of people.
Consider how to engage with specific groups that can advise on vulnerability issues
For example, the Vietnam National COVID-19 Plan commits to engaging the national women's association to collaborate with local governments to effectively manage the outbreak. Such collaborations can inform holistic recovery.
Consider promoting healthy eating agendas during COVID-19
Consider promoting healthy eating agendas, working with supermarkets and convenience stores to combat unhealthy eating and convenience foods which are often characteristic of low income homes that may not have access to support for healthy food choices.