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.

Written by Calista Bruschi

When she’s not moulding Play-Doh or dancing in the living room with her children, Calista Bruschi is an editor and writer. She has oodles of experience working on newspapers, magazines and websites. Calista likes to organise and be organised. She loves being a mum, Italian food, wine, sport and stationery. She hasn't sleep a full night in more than five years and is powered by coffee.

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