Disadvantaged children face ‘profound, long-term impact’ from pandemic – report

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Children and young people living in disadvantaged circumstances face a disproportionate impact from the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.

Data produced by the Irish Youth Foundation (IYF) has suggested those in challenged environments are exposed to particular risks in relation to mental health, education drop-off, training and employment opportunities, antisocial behaviour and criminality.

Its report, Generation Pandemic: Futures are on the Line, published on Tuesday, showed that more than a third of youth workers say years of support work have been wiped out by the pandemic.

The survey of more than 300 youth workers, supporting more than 35,000 young people in disadvantaged communities, found four out of five (82 per cent) predicted the impact of the health crisis would have a “profound long-term impact” on those they help.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) were concerned about long-term mental health, half (52 per cent) about an absence of crucial social skills and resilience, and almost the same (48 per cent) about an increased risk from rising antisocial behaviour and criminality.

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