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The Children’s Authority is urging families to seek support during these challenging times.

In a statement, the authority said it has acknowledged that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the preventive measures designed to minimise the spread of the virus have been stressful on children and their families.

The authority said it noted that many adults may be feeling anxious or worried at this time, particularly adults who are unemployed or those seeking to balance the needs of their child with the demands of work. As such, the authority is appealing to these groups to seek the necessary assistance from their support networks and social services agencies.

The authority is also urging parents and guardians who may be feeling stressed are encouraged to practise self-care.

Meanwhile, the authority said it is continuing to provide support to children and their families during lockdown.

It said its Emergency Response Team was dispatched to investigate child protection concerns after a photo of a child kneeling outside a property was seen circulating on social media.

It said while investigations are ongoing, the authority is working alongside the Child Protection Unit of the Police Service to provide the necessary psychosocial support to the child and his family.

It said parents and caregivers should seek to reassure children about their safety and the safety of loved ones.

Parents and guardians should also strive to maintain/create routines to provide children with a sense of safety and predictability.

When children are stressed, their bodies respond by activating their stress response which can include irritability and changes in eating and sleeping habits, the authority said.