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Although evidence suggests that many children may have had a positive experience of aspects of the coronavirus outbreak, concerns have been raised regarding the impact on some children and families, particularly those already vulnerable or disadvantaged.

It is suggested that the full impact on such families may only become apparent as schools and support services begin to re-open. This, in turn, has led to concerns about the pressure that local authority children’s services and other support services may face from an increase in demand. Stakeholders, including the Children’s Commissioner and the Local Government Association, have urged a focus on children as part of the recovery.

As part of its response to Covid-19, the Government has provided significant additional funding to organisations supporting vulnerable children and families, including £4.7 billion to local authorities.

As well as providing brief information on these issues, this Commons Library Briefing also includes a brief outline of the Troubled Families Programme and the development of Family Hubs, both of which were the subject of commitments in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto.

The Education Select Committee has held evidence sessions on The Impact of Covid-19 on education and children’s services. This included sessions with the Children’s Commissioner, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and the Chief Executive Officer of Barnardo’s, and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP.

Related Library briefings on the Troubled Families Programme, Early Intervention and Local authority support for children in need also include relevant material.

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