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National survey encourages children to share COVID-19 experiences

Australia’s national children’s commissioner is calling for children and their families to take part in two surveys about their experience of the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Anne Hollonds said responses to the survey, from children and young people, their parents, carers and grandparents, would help inform decisions about how Australians aged nine to 17 are best supported as COVID-19 persists.

Hollonds said children and young people have not had many opportunities to have their say during the past two years of the pandemic.

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

She said the surveys will consider the social, emotional, educational and other impacts children and young people have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.

Children and mental health

Australian children were experiencing mental health challenges before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, missing school, social isolation, increased anxiety and other impacts of the pandemic have intensified the crisis.

Seventeen-year-old Jayden Delbridge told the Australian Human Rights Council it was difficult to find appropriate support when home-based learning began. The New South Wales Advisory Council member also said many of his friends dropped out of school.

“Home-based learning for me was absolutely horrible,” Delbridge said. “I lost interest in some of my favourite subjects because I couldn’t do them online.”

Interested in completing the survey?

The government-funded surveys opened on Monday, January 31. Both surveys are completely confidential, and children need parental consent to complete the survey. The utmost care will be taken to protect the privacy of children and their families.

Children aged nine to 17 can complete the survey here.

Parents or carers can complete the survey here.

The surveys close on March 20.

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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