26 September 2023

COVID survey gives children a voice

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The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is inviting children, parents and carers to share their stories about how the pandemic has affected their wellbeing and how they have coped.

National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds said the Child Wellbeing and COVID: National Survey for children and young people aged nine to 17 – and for their parents, carers or grandparents – would inform decisions about how to support children as the pandemic continued.

“Whether you are a child or teenager, a parent, grandparent or carer, your story is important, and sharing it will help to build better support for children in the future,” Commissioner Hollonds said.

“Children and young people have not had many opportunities to be heard during the pandemic,” she said.

“This is a unique opportunity for them and their parents to contribute to recommendations for service improvements.”

Commissioner Hollonds said participation by children, parents and carers would help Governments improve support services.

“The surveys will consider the social, emotional, educational and other impacts children and young people have experienced over the past two years,” she said.

“Understanding these impacts in greater detail will help Governments design better services to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.”

The Commissioner said that, even before the pandemic, Australian children were experiencing a mental health crisis and indications were that missed school, social isolation, increased anxiety and other impacts of the pandemic had exacerbated that crisis.

“In addition to the children’s survey, parents, grandparents and carers are being invited to complete a second survey, to capture their experiences and perspectives about the pandemic’s impact on children and their families,” Commissioner Hollonds said.

Both surveys can be accessed at this PS News link.

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