Helpline-Informed Approaches to Remote Learning Needs for Students at Risk of Maltreatment
Keywords:Remote School, COVID-19, Child Abuse, Abuse Reporting, Hotline, Qualitative Research
Remote schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic offered a window into unique concerns regarding student well-being, particularly for students lacking a safe and supportive home environment. We sought to identify school-related concerns voiced by youth under age 25 who reported distress to a hotline via text or chat while in remote school during the pandemic. Qualitative thematic analysis was conducted on 60 transcripts. Help-seekers were an average age of 15.4 years (range: 10-21 years), from 25 states and Canada, and mostly female (57%). Our results yielded five student concerns: feeling trapped, school as escape, isolation, distress from parental schoolwork enforcement, and accommodation challenges for students with disabilities. We identified needs regarding novel methods for abuse reporting, social support, and access to services for student mental health, students with disabilities, and parents. This work demonstrates the importance of incorporating the voices of vulnerable youth in interventions to support students during remote learning.
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