There have been many families in difficult situations during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding new ways of coping with the day to day challenges. We can learn a great deal from what families have to say but all too often their voices go unheard, especially when organisations are planning services for families. Therefore we must listen to what they have to say and act.

The COVID-19 Family Life Study is a new research project that explores the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on family life across cultures. The results from this study will inform policies, programs, and support for families.

The study aims to collect pertinent data to inform support service design and delivery for parents and families across the world and it will;

  • Assess symptoms, causes, and risk factors of mental health in parents during and due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Document psychological and social experiences of parents during this period of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Understand (mental) health, psychosocial and social needs of families in times of crisis
  • Assess parents’ needs for, perception of, and satisfaction with support services provided during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Examine coping skills and mechanisms and help-seeking behaviours among parents
  • Identify barriers to service utilization during the pandemic

Families from 40 different countries will be invited to take part and data collection is already underway in a number of countries including;

  • North America: US and Canada
  • Europe: UK, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Portugal, France, Austria, Cyprus, Czech republic, Slovakia, Holland, Switzerland
  • Asia: Mongolia, China,, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Cost
  • MENA region: Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait
  • Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia

The online survey seeks the views of parents or carers of children aged 1-18 years old. Individual families, organisations such as the NHS, Local Authorities, voluntary and charity organisations who work with families are being asked to share the study with their families to encourage the widest diaspora possible.

We plan to involve 40,000 families. By gaining an insight into how families have felt and are feeling about their experiences during the pandemic, we will be able to inform policy and practice. Governments, health providers and the voluntary sector will be able to use the findings from this study to put effective measures in place during times of any future global or country specific incident. 

We hope that you will be able to take part in this study and pass this information on to other families and organisations.

For further information on the project, please visit the COVID-19 Family Life Study website.

Dr Anis Ben Brik, College of Public Policy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Nikki Ledingham, Independent Social Worker