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Children, Young People and Families, Covid

Managing the family impact of shielding

Guidance for parents where someone is or has been shielding in the family

08 January 2021

This guidance has been produced by psychologists working with children who are shielding or are in families where someone is shielding. Parents who are in families where someone is shielding have contributed their experience to the production of this document, and we are very grateful for their input.

We know that when someone in the family has a physical health condition, it already places lots of demands on family life – there will be medical appointments, treatments, physical symptoms, and many other things for you to think about as a parent. Some people with a physical health condition will have been told to ‘shield’ again as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – this means they will have extra restrictions placed on their life, to help stop them contracting coronavirus as it is likely to affect them more than people who do not have a health condition.

Some families will experience additional stressors such as financial worry, overcrowded home environments, restricted access to outdoor space, and may already have been impacted by additional external stressors (stigma, prejudice, discrimination, racism). Some factors, such as being of a BAME background, may have further increased the risk associated with Covid-19 which may have caused additional worry. We know that many people experienced increased anxiety during the pandemic, and for families who were shielding, there may have been additional worries.

Download the guideline