Our research pulls together the thoughts and feelings of care-experienced children and young people during the COVID-19 lockdown, giving them a voice in the crisis. The evidence base of the project was a NYAS survey that reached 230 care-experienced children and young people across England and Wales between the 15th April to the 7th of May.

Our research found that factors such as reduced levels of contact are having an effect on the wellbeing of care-experienced children and young people. Half of children in care (50%) said they felt lonely more often during the lockdown. At the same time, one in five children in care (23%) had less contact from their social worker, and one in ten (13%) had not heard from them at all.

A similar trend emerged for care leavers, who overwhelmingly reported feeling lonely more often and anxious (86%) during the lockdown, as well as saying that they were seeing their personal adviser less (43%). These changes come at a time where NYAS safeguarding referrals have tripled compared with the same period of last year.

Our research also shows that of the different care arrangements, young people living in independent or semi-independent accommodation were at greatest risk of feeling lonely more often (59%) and children in foster care the least likely to feel lonely (39%).

Our full data report, ‘Young Lives in Lockdown’ can be read here.